Any examles of throttle / flightstick being used as a main keyboard - am considering the feasability.


29 Mar 2019, 14:30

Please tell me if you are aware of any examles of a throttle / flightstick being used as a keyboard - am considering the feasability.

I am trying to find a typing solution to use when lying flat on my back

speech (speech recognition) isn`t an option, neither is maintaining a raised hand position so needs to be beside my torso rather than in front / above it.

when typing upright on keyboards I need to see where I am pressing to accurately type, when lying on my back this isn`t feasible and I`m not very perceptive with regards to key angle so can`t use that to orient myself on the keyboard.

The very textured, well separated keys/switches of a CH throttle/flightstick seem well suited to orienting myself by touch alone while being fully reclined. that these might be placed on a bed or table and not slide around is another attractive thought.

I`d like to know if this has been tried before and where the pitfalls lie, my searches have been drawing a blank.


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30 Mar 2019, 03:44

Assuming a Windows-based system, a quick search for "joystick input to keyboard" shows two dedicated commercial/shareware options, JoyToKey and Keysticks; AutoHotKey has a tutorial on the topic ( which would be free and potentially much more powerful. So it's definitely possible to map the inputs from a HOTAS setup to keys.

Depending on your specifics, a split "chording" keyboard might be another option, an orbiTouch might be yet another.


30 Mar 2019, 09:48

The OrbiTouch is like keyboard input with two joysticks: one for selecting a group of letters and the other for selecting the letter within that group. Typing is quite slow though.

Would a keyboard with a regular QWERTY layout but split into two halves be feasible?
I'm thinking of the Kinesis Evolution (or something like it) which was often attached to the wrist rests of a chair and angled outwards, but adapted to a more reclined body position. The Kinesis Evolution is rare but there may be other keyboards to consider: the Kinesis Freestyle (Edge), or a split with vertical columns like the ErgoDox or Iris:
There would need to be a long-enough cable in-between the halves though.
Ideally, your keyboard halves should be propped up at an angle ("tenting"), and with wrist rests.

A regular keyboard does have markers for finding the keys by touch alone: Look at the F and J keys: they should be either dished (more than other keys), have a horizontal bar, a dot or even a combination. You could perhaps use an image of the keyboard for training, to learn to type without looking. That would be some learning for sure, but learning the skill would could pay off: you could use it with almost every "normal" keyboard when you get out of your reclined state.


30 Mar 2019, 13:38

See Dasher.


01 Apr 2019, 17:07

Dasher was completely unknown to me but is proving fun and intuitive even with just a finger mounted laser mouse this writes well.

it is more accurate than my spelling from typing, I will try to do more of this and see if my speed can improve. Impressive how it lets me output text, direct to my console window of choice :)


01 Apr 2019, 17:52

orbitouch would raise my hands too high when lying flat on my back, much the same as a regular keyboard.
I had considered cykey, BAT and some other one-handed chorded keypads but my memory, coordination and ability to learn aren`t sufficient for putting that style into practice.

had considered an alphagrip but again hands too high.

my maltron 3d left-handed keyboard can work if tilted when I am fully reclined but takes constant hard work to use that way (great for when standing upright though :)) and does rely on sight when I type on it. (as I`m doing now)

the kinesis evolution isn`t something I`d seen before but the kinesis freestyle is and shares the same challenges to my use when fully reclined.
Insufficient tactile feedback to retain or verify position of my hand\fingers over the keycaps when reclined and no line of sight to do so visually.

thankyou for the thoughts.

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02 Apr 2019, 08:05

Dasher is certainly an option and could also be used with head or eye tracking mice.

If you're still interested in a joystick style setup I remembered this thread ( on GH where the OP built a custom game controller from the ground up.

There's also "gaming keypads" like Razer Tartarus or Orbweaver, or the Logitech G13 which might be worth a look.

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