Author Topic: [IC] Sagittarius (dates, proxies and US prices announced)  (Read 78457 times)

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Offline Gondolindrim

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[IC] Sagittarius (dates, proxies and US prices announced)
« on: Thu, 18 June 2020, 16:56:06 »

Sagittarius, a gasket-mount optimized ergonomic layout custom keyboard

"Each soul a single universe
Each mind bears the wages of their sins
Each person carries the blessing of existence"

Hello there guys, and welcome to the interest check of Sagittarius!

For you guys that donít know me, Iím a brazilian mech enthusiast and engineer, best known for my open-source PCBs such as SharkPCB, ArcticPCB, Doddle60, Austin and much more. All of those released under my Acheron Project (see the documentation of the AcheronProject). Iíve been an active member of the community for some time, and today I bring you my greatest contribution so far: Sagittarius!

This is an ergonomic layout that I like to call optimized ergonomic, because we took ourselves pretty far with the design and project of this layout. It was designed using top-level research literature in psychology and medicine papers that define mechanical models for the hands and fingers, and optimization algorithms that are supposed to minimize wrist and finger joint strain while using the keyboard. This while delivering a layout compatible with our common base keycap kits with rich features like encoders and a gasket-mount case designed by Upas at Cannonkeys!

1. The motivation


Itís not news to anyone that the current staggered layout we have is not ideal for the anatomy of the hands. According to specialists (see [1]), when long work and study hours are concerned, the current default layout causes lesions including, but not limited to :

  • Wrist and finger joints degradation caused by the rapid movement the fingers make while applying pressure;
  • Forearm muscle injuries due to the sometimes intense movement that the hands have to perform to cover the entire keyboard, specially on the modifier keys;
  • Tendinitis and in some rare cases even tendon tearing due to the stretching the wrist and hands have to make to access important keys such as escape, backspace and enter;
  • Spinal injuries due to posture: since the user must actively move their hands all over the keyboard, they tend to not sit straight;
  • Shoulder and neck damage due to the angle of the arms when using the keyboard, which makes the user lean front and transfer their body weight to the shoulders and elbows. Since the keyboard is smaller than the average human shoulder distance, the hands have to approximate to one another; the arms then make an angle that has to be thoroughly adjusted to match the keys placement;

To remedy this, we as a community have come up with four solutions:

  • To solve the difficulty of reaching certain modifier keys, we modify our layouts by deploying split shifts, backspace, wider spacebars to make the keyboard feel more comfortable to the user whilst still delivering a default typing experience that wonít make the user need to re-learn the layout;
  • To adress the shoulder/elbow curvature there is the most prominent ergonomic layout to date in our community --the Alice layout, from which sprouted numerous other keyboards; the main disadvantage being the small time it takes you to adjust to the layout;
  • To adress the issue of finger joints some people use ortho layouts, which conform each finger to a particular column and makes it more comfortable to use;
  • To deal with the shoulder distancing, some people use split keyboards that allow the hands to rest in a more natural position instead of forcing the arms inwards towards the body

The issue with the Alice layout is that it solves only a portion of the issues, by giving the alphanumeric keys a twelve-degree angle that adapts to the angle of the wrists. This solves the last two issues and the third one partially, but the first and second one are still there: some important keys -- like modifiers and numbers -- are still out of reach. As a result, the user has to stretch their hand and wrist unnecessarily. For example, you still have to lift your wrist to use the numbers, or press backspace with your pinky by stretching your hand and stressing your tendon. The ortho layout option also is not 100% efficient because it does not take into account the natural curvature of the hands and the fingers in such a way that you have to force joints to make the fingers conform to a particular column.

Now, me and a great friend of mine, Tom, saw these issues as an opportunity to bring to the community our own unique take on this matter and develop an entirely new ergo layout. And, approximately six months ago, we started concocting the awesome idea of bringing a true ergonomic layout to this community.

2. The Sagittarius Layout

Tom was a med neurosurgery student and had connections with some of the top med researchers of our country. So we reached out to some peers in physiotherapy and orthopedics departments to give us some direction as to what are the state-of-the-art techniques in rehabilitation and ergonomics.

We eventually fell into an amazing and deep bunny hole of a field in psychology and anatomy called Nonconventional Human-Machine Interaction and studied some of what it had to give us.

The main references we used were [2], a PhD thesis that studies a thorough mathematical development of the human hand movement; [3], [4] and [5] develop human hand models to predict torque and forces on joints; [5]  defines a way of modelling the hand movements from a mechanical model with special emphasis on rehabilitation models.

From these, we used some techniques in [6] to define nonlinear numerical optimization algorithms and thatís where the eureka! comes in. The optimization parameters of the hand can be defined as strains and forces, and thatís what we did: Tom had some measurements from his graduate thesis -- where he worked in the rehabilitation of hand bone and joints injuries -- and we could use some real-life data to define optimal parameters for hand movement, given from people that suffer first hand (pun intended) from hand joint and bone injuries.

So not only we had the hand modelling ready, we also had real-life measurements that we could use to fine tune optimization parameters to make our results more credible and attuned to reality.

The idea here is simple. If we define a cartesian axis on the escape key, each key can be understood as a (x,y) pair and we can define a distance function. By integrating this distance function to respect with the wrist angle, as a function of the position and speed and deviation from wrist normal position, we establish one optimization parameter. The second one being the stretching of the hands when you need to press a key -- we defined a highly nonlinear cost function that would rise greatly when the hand needed to stretch above 90% of its size when completely open. Finally, we can use the mechanical models of the hand to determine the torque and forces that actuate on joints and tendons, making the third optimization parameter.

The end optimization function then is taken by exhaustive iteration of the optimization parameters when sorting the layout; some keys are nonlinearly placed. In some cases where results were inconclusive we had to use brute-force optimization methods like machine learning and evolutionary algorithms to determine the best layout.

Then we used the real-life measurements to determine which parameters fit the real-world results and we could define which best layout yielded the most anatomic profile.

I used Karash-Kun-Tucker [7] algorithms to solve the optimization problem. Since the optimization functions were discontinuous and sometimes undifferentiable in some spots, conventional linear optimization failed to yield the results we wanted. The method is thoroughly developed in [8]. The empirical parameters were fitted using nonlinear least squares methods and the optimizing equations were developed in Python programming language with SciPy minimizing libraries. The results were then translated into a keyboard layout and a PCB was designed.

Of course, setting optimization parameters, cost functions and weights is not always an exact science. Also, due to the base kit compromise we made, not every iteration yielded a feasible layout. The layout went through 17 different iterations before taking this final form, when we were happy with the results.

To make a long story short, we developed a unique and mathematically optimized layout that diminished shoulder, finger and wrist strain while using a mechanical keyboard; this is why we called this layout an optimized ergonomic layout.

We came up with this layout:


Which might look strange at a first glance, but bare with me for a second. As you guys can see, each single key has a particular angle; the keyboard is composed of two key clusters that are distanced so as to match the average shoulder distance and angle of the wrists while typing. Also the key angles and distances are fine-tuned so that the user can reach any key in the keyboard without needing to lift the wrists from their rest.

The keyboard also has a neat feature that the left cluster has a slightly sharper angle; that is because in normal typing the left hand generally rests while the right one moves more due to the shift, enter and backspace keys, which are all on the right side.

As an ode to yutskiís amazing contribution -- the Alice layout -- we added a key cluster on the top left; each key supports rotary encoders for those who like fancy features.

The ďSagittariusĒ name came as an inside joke between me and Tom that the Alice has no arrow keys and that accessing the arrows is not intuitive on that layout; so we added the keys on the bottom right as a layout option, resembling the centaur arrows. And, of course, Tom himself was a Sagittarius!

Also we added your everyday options -- split backspace, split right shift, stepped caps -- and, to appeal to our european fellows, Sagittarius also supports an ISO version!

Of course, in order for the layout to fit the usual key sizes, we had to make some concessions on the true ergonomy. First, the spacebars. Ideally a curved and lengthy spacebar is needed, but I doubt you can get a curved spacebar with your preferred GMK set. Also some keys had to be readjusted or moved so that a 2.25 option was available. Finally, I wanted the right key cluster to be a tad bit more angled but I couldnít do it without compromising the ISO layout.

3. The PCB and the case



The PCB will of course feature all features a grown-up PCB has:

  • USBC connector
  • ESD protection on USD data lines;
  • Independant inrush and ESD filtering on USB power lines;
  • MCU power isolation and filtering, making the PCB more reliable;
  • Sweet RGB lighting in the form of the Sagittarius constellation;
  • Newer ARM MCU processor;
  • VIA compatibility;
  • Each one of the top left keys are compatible with rotary encoders; you can use one, two or even all four of them at the same time;
  • Relief cuts for the flex;

Though I say so myself, the routing of the PCB is beautiful and if by far the most complex project I have ever worked on.

The case was designed by none other than Upas, the man who brought us Satisfaction75, Brutal60 and Savage65; it features a gasket mounted plate, a nice slick outer look and . The GB will be handled by Cannonkeys, a known big vendor in the community.


5. About Tom

Mid-way through the development of our layout and the nerdgasmic reunions we had to discuss optimization algorithms, we lost Tom to depression. As an aggravating factor, his family was always struggling with money and with funeral costs they went outright bankrupt; his little brother almost dropped out of college to work and help the family out. We are facing a big economic crisis in Brazil and his father is unemployed.

I was absolutely not letting that situation be Tomís legacy, and I am going to make sure his brother sees through college. So I took the next month, finished the calculations and the layout optimization and, mid-way through the design of the PCB, I sent a desperate cry to Upas at Cannonkeys to help me run this keyboard and help Tomís family. Upas is currently designing a case for this layout and we are planning to run this as a GB. Everything I earn from this will go towards Tomís family. They are in deep debt and I am helping them as I can, but I am just one more broke student. Upas agreed to help by taking a lesser vendor commission.

EDIT: case design was finished and we took the feedback. The new case design should be here any moment as the new prototypes were already ordered

I did consult with Tomís family for this and every single step and information I am disclosing was not taken without their consent. That includes an excerpt from a poem Tom wrote in grad school, which talked about grief and despair.

Tom and I were always huge advocates of free information, so after the GB ends I will open-source the PCB and the layout so that the community can experiment on it -- it also wouldnít be a typical PCB of mine if it weren't open source now, would it? Since we used closed measurements for the optimization algorithms, however, I canít disclose the programs I developed nor the exact method and routines I programmed because those are currently being used to write a paper yet to be published.

6. What we need feedback on

Having given my reasoning and the design procedure, I need you guys to give me me feedback on:

The overall idea of ergonomy optimization. I know this is not a big thing in the community but I have heard many cases of peers amongst us that are suffering with hand and arm injuries from keyboard usage;
The layout keyset compatibility. After optimization, the layout was adapted so that it could fit into the usual base kit of keycap sets -- who doesn't hate having to buy a 40 dollar kit just so you can use your favourite layout? However, I am not sure if you guys are going to like the choices that were made.
Aesthetics: of course this is a hobby based on looks. After Tomís passing I devised a logo and used a piece of a poem of his, but I donít know if itís too deep or sentimental.

7. Acknowledgements

Of course, Tom. I hope he is in a better place now and his family recovers from their loss.
Upas from cannonkeys, who in a heartbeat agreed to make this a reality and help me do this. I am simply humbled by how this guy helped me in making this a reality. I sleep better because of you.
MrKeebs, always a huge supporter of my designs, even paying for the early prototypes of the first Acheron Project PCBs.
Whoever was kind enough to read this IC to here and give thoughts. Thank you for your time and patience.

8. Layouts test sheets

Check out these files if you want to try out the optimized ergonomic Sagittaqrius layout for yourself! You can print them, cut and assemble the layout.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1hp7NIgQ7yLNXQOCz2PxROp85z_ob5-L6?usp=sharing

9. References

[1] Pascarelli, M.D. and Quilter, Deborah. Repetitive Strain Injury: A Computer User's Guide. Wiley Books, 1994.
[2] Stillfried, Georg. Kinematic modelling of the human hand for robotics. Doctorate Thesis, Technischen Universitšt MŁnchen.
[3] PeŮa-Pitarch et al. Virtual human hand: model and kinematics. Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, vol.17, 2014.
[4] Nierop et al. A natural human hand model. Visual Comput, 2008, pp. 31Ė44.
[5] Casolo, Frederico; Lorenzi, Vittorio. Finger Mathematical Modeling and Rehabilitation. Advances in the Biomechanics of the Hand and Wrist, pp 197-223.
[6] Mossar, Rahman. Mathematical Modeling and Trajectory Planning of Hand Finger Movements. 2014 First International Conference on Systems Informatics, Modelling and Simulation, 2014.
[7] Karash-Tun-Tucker nichtlinearen Optimierung. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karush-Kuhn-Tucker-Bedingungen, accessed in march 23, 2020.

10. Updates

  • 20 Jun 2020: Added printable layout test sheets.
  • 26 Jun 2020: Case revamp in progress. We took the feedback and are trying to harmonize the case with the layout.
  • 14 Aug 2020: New case design finished and new prototypes ordered! We should see some pictures soon.
  • 5 Nov 2020: GB dates announced
11. Case redesign

We heard your feedback and re-designed the case! It got curvier, chonkier and MORE AWESOME:




12. GB announcement

After yesterday's Minterly stream you guys were able to see the new iteration of the case in action with the glorious RGB constellation!

Stream link: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/792335918

Dates

The Sagittarius keyboard Group Buy will start in Sagittarius season, of course! Beggining in november 21 until november 27 at 11:59 PM EST.

Prices and proxies

The standard kit contains:

  • 1x 6063 aluminum board top
  • 1x 6063 aluminum board bottom
  • 1x Brass weight
  • 1x Brass plate
  • PCB, JST cable, USB daughterboard
  • Mounting Hardware (screws, poron gasket strips and bumpons)
  • Microfiber cloth and padded zip case with foam

And the extras are:

  • PCB + JST cable + daughterboard kit
  • Gasket set
  • FR4 plate
  • Brass plate

Each proxy will region lock their pages and open the GB page at a different time.

(NA) Cannonkeys - 175 units (opens nov 21st 11AM EST)

Prices:
  • Standard kit: 485 USD
  • Extra PCB kit: 55 USD
  • Extra gasket set: 4 USD
  • Extra FR4 plate: 30 USD
  • Extra brass plate: 55 USD

(Europe) Prototypist.net - 50 units

Prices TBD

(OC) Dailyclack - 50 units

Prices TBD

(AS) ilumkb - 75 units

Prices TBD

Colors

Top / Bottom

Navy / Silver (same colors as the prototype Taeha built but with the revised case of course)
Black / Red
Gray / Lilac
E-white / Gold

PCB details

VIA, QMK, USBC DB, RGB, and more acronyms I can't remember

Open-source

Curvy and brazilian (just like me)

Thank you guys for supporting me and Tom! I will add more information ASAP!
« Last Edit: Fri, 20 November 2020, 08:14:26 by Gondolindrim »
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline dimo

  • Posts: 518
kinda ugly kinda cute

Offline cijanzen

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This is really cool and well thought out! The only thing I wished was different is that the front was a curve instead of flat. It would flow with the keycaps so much better that way.

Edit: I also really appreciate that you went to the lengths to reference your sources!

Offline Zeelobby

  • Posts: 736
Welp. I'm ready. Watched the PCB being made. Twiddled thumbs patiently. Let's goooo.

And RIP Tom, and sorry Gondo. I'm hoping this journey gives you some closure and am ready to help chip in to help Tom's family. I know he'd love knowing that your doing this for him and his own.
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 June 2020, 17:56:39 by Zeelobby »

Offline ubmit

  • Posts: 42
hyped for this! thanks for all the work, my friend!

Online ilikerustoo

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Interested

Offline glazeds0n

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nice

Offline MrBingo

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Nice  :eek:

Offline bigburpsx3

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YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAS IM IN

Offline rikercd

  • Posts: 49
No knob? Take it away.






I'm kidding, I'm buying one.

Offline crusader_alex

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Very well though out and developed. Great work! I'm definitely interested.

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Offline planccck

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looks stunning. 100% down for this

Offline dklein

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I love all the research and consideration that went into this. I'm always happy to see this hobby explore new ways to combine aesthetic, ergonomics, and compatibility. Will definitely be in for this.

As someone who really enjoys ortho, ergo, and alice-style layouts I really like the layout out the gate - my suggestion would be to try what was done with Kyria and have a printable version of the layout available so people can see how they like typing on it https://docs.splitkb.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010627159-Can-I-try-the-Kyria-before-I-buy-
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 June 2020, 17:15:26 by dklein »

Offline LÝki

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Yep that's doing it for me.

Offline qriousgabriel

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I like how you added the references at the end. Well, RIP wallet.
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Offline OJtheTiny

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This looks like an expensive board, but I'm still down, always been a big fan of ergo boards and quirky layouts

Offline Madrai

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I know this is pretty early - but are you planning on offering a PC option for the case?

Offline Capsy

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Gondo, you're a treasure  :thumb:

Offline sedxr

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This looks ****ing amazing. Period.

Offline DukeEsquire

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Condolences about Tom. That's really sad that he left this Earth so young.

Offline NoxNoxNox

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I always want to love Ergonomic Layouts but I struggle with Y and B being both hands for me.  Any chance of optional 2nd Y and B on the other sides? (could be macro keys/etc.)  One of the advantages of the Alice Layout is the 2nd B key, which some people depend on, but it can't fit a 2nd Y key.  I think this could fit both, which would entice some users.

Offline upas

  • Posts: 300
I am super excited that Gondolindrim asked me to be involved in this project!
Having typed on the prototype, it greatly encourages proper touch typing and I feel my hands moving far less than on a normal keyboard.

Some FR4 sandwich prototypes are on their way to Gondolindrim right now, and we hope to get more prototypes into the hands of some streamers to try out this keyboard!

Offline yourfavorite

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First, I'm so sorry to hear about Tom. All the best to you, his friends and his family.

Count me in for a board. Just need to know the date. This looks great.

Offline saltynarwhal

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I love the layout and ergonomic boards. I am no expert but the only suggestion I have is the left side of the board is still offset to the left slightly which is the problem ortho boards have solved because our left wrist doesnít turn that way naturally. I would consider offsetting the left side of the boards keys more to the right. If that makes sense..

Offline maniKKusu

  • Posts: 1
Im IN! looks Great, and I like how involved you are with health issues regarding hand and wrist injuries due to typing... and of course Its a great cause... count me in brother...

Offline TheArcticFox_27

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Great project my friend! Hoping everything goes well!
| | |

Offline driftingbunnies

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Looks great!  :thumb:

Offline bsands

  • Posts: 6
In

Offline kidpid

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I'm intrigued by the layout, but the case is kinda... off-putting? It feels like it doesn't have any consistent design language when you look at it from the top. Maybe it's mostly the corners that weird me out. Here's a diagram to help  explain:



The blue corners are large circular corners, they're a very chill design. This seems consistent with the pretty large fillet.
The red and orange corners are very sudden, not very rounded at all, and pretty aggressive. There's not really any cohesion between the the edge corners and the bottom piece. It looks like someone took a rounded bar and then slapped a random piece on the bottom.

Compare to the Nunu, which I think is the best looking Alice variant keyboard:



The curves and the lines all flow together, the board has cohesion.

I think the curved aesthetic fits well with the relaxed curvature of the layout, but that bottom part seems out of place.

I also think the bezels are much too large, although I'm sure plenty will disagree with me here. There's already enough dead space in the middle of the keyboard due to the layout, and the bezels just end up exaggerating all the empty space.
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 June 2020, 17:27:04 by kidpid »

Offline cambo2018

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I really like the idea of optimization and all the thought that went into this board.  As far as design aesthetic is concerned, I am not a fan of the variation between the rounded and sharp corners.  I think it would look better with one or the other.  At first, I didn't vibe with the rounded corners at all, but after looking at the board for a few minutes I feel that they (rounded) fit better seeing how the layout is designed.

Online Kokaloo

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Obviously something this curved hasn't really existed and it's intriguing. Would you consider having a printable sheet of the layout so we could test it? Tom Baart did it for the Kyria (link here) and I would love to have a dry run at something like this!

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Offline MeloDet

  • Posts: 202
I agree that the case could use some refinement, but in all honesty I am probably buying this either way. That layout is just too good to pass up.

Offline architones

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Count me interested in this. Appreciate the attention to detail on the layout.

Offline lofi_network

  • Posts: 5
I've spent decades typing, and having an ergo-focused board like this is a dream.  Agree re: picking either sharp or rounded corners and sticking to one, but very excited for this either way.

Offline Xemnova

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very interesting board, and quad rotary coder support. Definitely keeping my eye on this

Online LightningXI

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Sorry to hear the news about Tom.

This writeup sure is reminiscent of many papers I've read along a very passionate description of the work you've accomplished!

Will continue to pay attention to this thread as it develops.

Offline i luv chuletas

  • Posts: 196
Man.. what a journey this must have been (and still is) for you Gondo.

I'm sorry about your friend Tom, would gladly buy this just to help the cause. But the fact that the design of the layout of itself could be your engineering Thesis, and looks utterly unique and inviting to say the least is just the cherry on top.

I'm kind of glad I got to see you working on this now, gives it an even bigger connection with its designer.
Only note I would make is to perhaps dial down the roundness of the outer curves, as it seems jarring compared to the inner ones.

Cheers brother, congratulations on an exceptional board.

Offline stein3

  • Posts: 77
I'm trying to remember if the kits I have ordered will fit the 1.25u right shift (with arrow layout), or the 1.75u in the alternative spaces. It looks like the 1.75s would generally require a 40s/ortho kit. I'd prefer that layout if possible.
Maybe 1.25u 2u makes more sense for the left spacebar?

I'd also love to see a second B key on the right, but I'm weird like that.

Offline baobaozi

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Agreed, the sharp corners could be curved and it would better suit the rest of the case.

Sorry to hear about Tom passing.

Offline Acereconkeys

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First of all, I just want to say i'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Awesome work, I think there's great discussion going on already about the differing opinions on the case design. I had a quick question on the layout design. You mention in your writeup one of your goals was to solve the following problem:

Quote
Forearm muscle injuries due to the sometimes intense movement that the hands have to perform to cover the entire keyboard, specially on the modifier keys;

I was wondering if you could point to the element of your layout that addresses this issue? I'm looking at it and it seems the distance between key modifiers like backspace and enter are not spaced closer to the homerow than on a normal keyboard.
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 June 2020, 18:00:33 by Acereconkeys »
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Aergo design and build log: https://geekhack.org/index.php?topic=103681.msg2840918#msg2840918

Offline FunBox

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YES, Its finally in ic! I am so excited for this

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Offline Gondolindrim

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kinda ugly kinda cute

I hope cute wins haha
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline japanesehorrorwriter

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Wow. Swoops!

Offline Gondolindrim

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This is really cool and well thought out! The only thing I wished was different is that the front was a curve instead of flat. It would flow with the keycaps so much better that way.

Edit: I also really appreciate that you went to the lengths to reference your sources!

We felt that this looked and was better with the layout. We might try this out, plus making the bottom curves smoother as many people are pointing out, but we will take criticism and will take a look into making it better
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline ghstgrl

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Firstly, I'd like to extend my condolences to you and Tom's family. Second, I just want to add my appreciation for your dedication and goal of helping Tom's family, you're a great friend. While I've only been only slightly interested in ergo layouts I find this case handsome and I like the curves :) . I also like the inclusion of the poem and I'm always a sucker for astronomic references so Sagittarius name/branding hits the spot.


Some design input, I agree with kidpid that the angular bottom looks a little odd with the large radius corner filets. I think perhaps either lowering the radius of the corners or adding a little bit of curve onto the bottom edges might solve that issue (but please do keep the more rounded corners, I think it's what makes this board unique in terms of looks aside of the layout).

If it's within my budget I'm definitely interested :) .
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 June 2020, 23:10:46 by ghstgrl »
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Offline Gondolindrim

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Welp. I'm ready. Watched the PCB being made. Twiddled thumbs patiently. Let's goooo.

And RIP Tom, and sorry Gondo. I'm hoping this journey gives you some closure and am ready to help chip in to help Tom's family. I know he'd love knowing that your doing this for him and his own.

hyped for this! thanks for all the work, my friend!

nice

Very well though out and developed. Great work! I'm definitely interested.

Sent from my HD1913 using Tapatalk



Nice  :eek:

Yep that's doing it for me.

Interested


This looks like an expensive board, but I'm still down, always been a big fan of ergo boards and quirky layouts

looks stunning. 100% down for this

I like how you added the references at the end. Well, RIP wallet.

I agree that the case could use some refinement, but in all honesty I am probably buying this either way. That layout is just too good to pass up.

This looks ****ing amazing. Period.

In

Great project my friend! Hoping everything goes well!

YES, Its finally in ic! I am so excited for this

Sent from my SM-N975U1 using Tapatalk



Looks great!  :thumb:

First, I'm so sorry to hear about Tom. All the best to you, his friends and his family.

Count me in for a board. Just need to know the date. This looks great.

Gondo, you're a treasure  :thumb:

Count me interested in this. Appreciate the attention to detail on the layout.

I've spent decades typing, and having an ergo-focused board like this is a dream.  Agree re: picking either sharp or rounded corners and sticking to one, but very excited for this either way.

Thanks guys, this means a lot to me and everyone involved!
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Agreed, the sharp corners could be curved and it would better suit the rest of the case.

Sorry to hear about Tom passing.

I'm intrigued by the layout, but the case is kinda... off-putting? It feels like it doesn't have any consistent design language when you look at it from the top. Maybe it's mostly the corners that weird me out. Here's a diagram to help  explain:

Show Image


The blue corners are large circular corners, they're a very chill design. This seems consistent with the pretty large fillet.
The red and orange corners are very sudden, not very rounded at all, and pretty aggressive. There's not really any cohesion between the the edge corners and the bottom piece. It looks like someone took a rounded bar and then slapped a random piece on the bottom.

Compare to the Nunu, which I think is the best looking Alice variant keyboard:

Show Image


The curves and the lines all flow together, the board has cohesion.

I think the curved aesthetic fits well with the relaxed curvature of the layout, but that bottom part seems out of place.

I also think the bezels are much too large, although I'm sure plenty will disagree with me here. There's already enough dead space in the middle of the keyboard due to the layout, and the bezels just end up exaggerating all the empty space.

Man.. what a journey this must have been (and still is) for you Gondo.

I'm sorry about your friend Tom, would gladly buy this just to help the cause. But the fact that the design of the layout of itself could be your engineering Thesis, and looks utterly unique and inviting to say the least is just the cherry on top.

I'm kind of glad I got to see you working on this now, gives it an even bigger connection with its designer.
Only note I would make is to perhaps dial down the roundness of the outer curves, as it seems jarring compared to the inner ones.

Cheers brother, congratulations on an exceptional board.

We are taking a look into this. Unfortunately nothing about this keyboard is easy or simple and simple changes can take up to hours, if not days to hone and refine. We will keep an eye on the valid criticisms guys, thank you so much for the writeups
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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Sorry to hear the news about Tom.

This writeup sure is reminiscent of many papers I've read along a very passionate description of the work you've accomplished!

Will continue to pay attention to this thread as it develops.

After almost a year and a half of development, the way I present this should reflect the level of the ideas we put into it. Although there is some artistry here, this is still a very academic development project and as such I chose to present this IC as an article-esque type, and it brings me joy to read from you that I succeeded. Thanks dude.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline Gondolindrim

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First of all, I just want to say i'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

Awesome work, I think there's great discussion going on already about the differing opinions on the case design. I had a quick question on the layout design. You mention in your writeup one of your goals was to solve the following problem:

Quote
Forearm muscle injuries due to the sometimes intense movement that the hands have to perform to cover the entire keyboard, specially on the modifier keys;

I was wondering if you could point to the element of your layout that addresses this issue? I'm looking at it and it seems the distance between key modifiers like backspace and enter are not spaced closer to the homerow than on a normal keyboard.

The main idea of the Alice angles and, ultimately, of the curved clusters of Sagittarius, is that due to the breadth of the shoulders the hands approach the keyboard at an angle. As such, when we try to type in a straight normal layout, the hand has to bend the wrist to make it work. This is the first way to solve the issue.

What the Alice didn't do is that since the 12 degree angle is constant, the distance between the left space and the backspace is not doable without you lifting your wrist to press it. In Sagittarius, you can keep your thumb on the spacebar while also being able to reach enter and space with the pinky.
A pessimist will tell you the cup is half empty. An optimist will tell you the cup is half full. An engineer will tell you it's exactly twice the size it needs to be.

Offline d4vid4f

  • Posts: 20
  • Location: California
Love this! Cant wait! Excited to try out a new layout.