The Arizona Makers Collective (AZMC) have designed a Modular USB Hotkey Controller that can be used for gaming, video editing, or CAD modeling. What’s more, you can use the modules independently or collectively as a single device, which opens up a wide range of capabilities, including triggering various hotkeys, emulate joystick axis, or even controlling a mouse.
AZMC’s USB Hotkey Controller features four modules that couple together magnetically, as well as USB ports to connect to a computer or laptop for programming the modules and using them for various applications. Each component offers a laser-cut wooden top with aluminum frame and was designed using Autodesk Fusion 360.
The Profile Selector module sports a single rotary encoder and button, along with a ring of 6 RGB LEDs. This module (when connected to any of the others via I2C) is used to choose the application profile for each of the others, and if uses as a standalone module, selects various hotkey functions.
The 3x3 Keypad module acts as a 9-key illuminated programmable keypad, and each key can be employed to activate different hotkeys, including uploading/verifying sketches, various CAD functions, or toggling comments.
The Dials module is equipped with four rotary encoders that can be used for a host of applications, like scrolling, moving a mouse cursor, or emulating a joystick with its entire range of axis. Lastly, the Fader module provides three independent faders that can also be used to emulate joysticks as well as a host of other functions.
While this is AZMC’s entry for the Human-Computer Interface phase of this year’s Hackaday Prize, they also have a pair of other entries for different contest applications, including a Modular Universal Jamming Gripper that allows robots to pick up objects, and Power Generation Modules that can power and charge small electronic devices. It will be interesting to see if they can win three out of three with their incredible entries.