Maker Stanislaw "Ape Devil" Kirpicnikow has shown off an open source 3D-printed input device, powered by an Arduino, with which he's hoping to offer a highly-customizable alternative to traditional mice, joysticks, trackballs, and even keyboards: the Lynx Cat.
"I wanna create a real flexible system, so everyone one can set up it as needed with lots of different modules," Kirpicnikow explains. "Doesn't matter [if you are] left-handed or right-handed or one-handed. [I use it for] modeling (Blender), I wanted to have something more comfortable for the shortcuts."
As well as being fully-functional as a mouse, the Cat is designed to offer a wide range of inputs: Four on each finger except the pinky, which gets three, and 10 reachable with the thumb for a total of 25 buttons — with layers and macros extending the input capabilities near-infinitely beyond what is physically possible.
That's only the Cat's first form, though: an alternative design replaces the mouse functionality with a trackball — while retaining the maximum number of possible input controls. A third variant uses a thumb-stick joystick for gaming or modeling projects where a continuous input is preferred.
"Imagine one of this device in each hand," Kirpicnikow explains of his vision for the project. "So there is no switching between devices [and] less movements of the hands."
Kirpicnikow is hoping to turn the Lynx Cat into a commercial product, but has also released it under an open source license for all to enjoy — model files, 3D print files, and source code all included. "[I want] to make it so awesome that it pays my rent and food," he explains. "Bread is also open source, so to say, but there are bakers that make money. That's how I see it."
Full project details, alongside source files published under the reciprocal GNU General Public License 3, are available on the Lynx Workshop website.