Back in 2005, Lego tinkerer Jason Allemann attempted to build a prototype of a working keyboard out of Lego using the membrane from a curved Microsoft Natural keyboard. The curves fought back, and the project was never finished. Fast forward to 2014 and Allemann has taken another stab at it, this time successfully creating a classic flat keyboard using Lego.
For the new project, the membrane came from a discarded generic keyboard found on the side of the road. The resulting keyboard totally works. The Num Lock, Caps Lock, and Scroll Lock LEDs light up and all the keys are functional. The membrane sits inside a simple Lego frame.
A grid of Lego Technic connectors holds the Lego keys in the right place above the membrane. The whole keyboard features a liberal use of Technic bits, making for a clever solution to the tricky design problem of spacing the keys correctly.
The keys are all selected from official Lego pieces, no custom printing or stickers involved. That meant Allemann had to let his creativity fly when choosing pieces to represent certain commands. For example, the "home" key is a red house roof piece. The question mark key is a piece from the Lego "Harry Potter" series with a sock on it. When placed upside down, it's in the shape of a question mark.
You could spend a lot of time poring over the intricate details of the keyboard. The whole contraption is visually impressive, but Allemann reports that it also works quite well and that he can type on it just as comfortably as on any other keyboard. It just happens to be a million times more awesome than any other keyboard because it's made out of Lego pieces.
(Via Brothers Brick)