The modern touchpads are incredible feats of engineering, with everything from complex signal processing for noise and tremendous economies of scale driving prices low. So [Kevin] decided to see if he could make his own touchpad. Partially out of curiosity of what makes one touchpad better than another, but also because he was curious if he could. Using an STM32 and a custom PCB, he was off to the races in an incredibly cost-effective way.
After writing some quick firmware in Rust, he was reporting the values read by the PWM channels. Using python, he could get a good idea of the raw values that were being written over USB and visualized. So rather than implement filtering in hardware or firmware, he elected to do the filtering and processing on the host computer side in Python. We suspect this gave him much shorter iteration cycles.
If you like the idea of making your own touchpad but perhaps are dreaming a little bigger, why not make a tablecloth-sized touchpad?