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Kirigami Keyboard


Erato Lab, Tokyo, Japan

CHI paper accepted


Team project: Industrial designer, Researcher, Origami scientist, Robotic scientist, Software engineer

A Kirigami keyboard is a paper-made keyboard that utilizes the kirigami technique to replicate haptic feedback from a standard keyboard or generate new tactile sensations. What's surprising is that it doesn't require electricity. You can simply place it on a touch panel device, and it operates through the device's capacitance.

The process was built on two techniques: kirigami and printable double- layered circuit.

CHI 2019 poster section accepted and published

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Kirigami is the Japanese art of cutting and folding of a single piece of paper. 

Proper push stroke and reaction force are indispensable factors for a comfortable keyboard. Rotational Erection System (RES) is a technique to construct a 3D structure by folding and rotating the 2D sheets such as papers or metal sheets. Specifically, the system utilizes rotationally symmetrical folding and cutting pattern. By adjusting the design parameters of the original 2D pattern, it is possible to control the elasticity in lifting direction as well as its 3D shapes. This kirigami structure(RES System) that provide haptic keyclick feedback enable to create a keyboard that responds closely to the actual keyboard. 

Making model

Using geogebra program for designing kirigami structure

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Various RES design was examined and above pattern performed outstanding with proper elasticity for a push button. This pattern has bistable property and is stabilized in lifted shape. The hole inside of each key was designed for user’s fingers to contact the double-layered circuit in order to transfer the touch input to the touch panel.

circuit prototype.jpg

Double-layered Circuits

The double layered circuit to create interaction with capacity touch panel allow to make different types of keyboard’s layouts. 

It consists of three sheets pasted together: a horizontal circuit layer, a spacing layer, and a vertical circuit layer as shown in below. For example, if you push a Ctrl key, both D19 in the horizontal circuit layer and D2 in the vertical circuit layer are activated. The 0.5 mm thick spacing layer was designed to reduce the noise between the two circuits.

Double-Layered Circuit Structure edit-01
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Full keyboard with 63 keys

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Left-handed gaming keyboard.

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Mathematical keyboard

Pre-manufactured keyboard is hard to meet individual’s needs and do not have customization choices. But this innovative design can many various layout of keyboards depend on people’s need. Three customized keyboards for mathematics, games, and laptop-like tasks. Kirigami and conductive inkjet printing technique is highly accessible and cheap, so this process achieves reusable DIY keyboard.

Working prototype 1

Working prototype 2

Final Design - CHI 2019 Accepted


Some behind scenes...

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