Continue to Site

Welcome to

Welcome to our site! is an international Electronics Discussion Forum focused on EDA software, circuits, schematics, books, theory, papers, asic, pld, 8051, DSP, Network, RF, Analog Design, PCB, Service Manuals... and a whole lot more! To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

Simple computer controlled mechanical device

Not open for further replies.


Junior Member level 2
Mar 11, 2009
Reaction score
Trophy points
Activity points
Hi, I am new to these forums.

I am trying to get pointed in the right direction on how to build a mechanical device controlled by a windows computer that can press be programmed to press different keystrokes (Eg the keyboard keys). At the most it would be a 12 keystroke pad being able to program different combinations.

Any advice is greatly appreciated on ideas on how to implement something like this

your post is not clear.
tell in simple form what you want ?

I want a device that can press buttons on a 10 button keypad and can be programmed to different combinations. I'm looking into about 1-2 seconds between each keystroke press.

It will simulate a human doing the keystroke presses, and I want to be able to easily start/stop at different times and modify the different combinations in a windows computer.

Please let me know if it is not clear enough

the problem looks simple , but the implementation will be somewhat hard.

you want a mech device that can press 10 keys , controlled by a pc.
the pc must have a software to program the keypress combination and time.

on the hardware side , you have to design an interface that is connected to pc and output to press the keys. the interface , can be connected to parallel port or serial port or usb.

parallel port interface is somewhat easy to make , serial some more difficult and usb you require dedicated chips.

on the software side, two modules : one to specify the key combination and delay and other a routine to connect to hw port of pc(driver).

so , in all , the expertise reqd is more than that for any hobby programmer and interface enthusiast.

Thanks for the reply
I have a lot of time to tackle this project.
I need to implement it for a reasonable price, but does not have to be from scratch. Would using PLDs or FPGAs maybe make it easier to interface the mechanical device with the computer?

The mechanical device would be very low voltage, it does not need to apply pressure just make contact.

I am thinking having 10 small controllable actuators for each key would work easier instead of having one moving arm that has to press on all the buttons. The problem is how to control them

Do you like to have something like this...

If yes, suggestion would be better try to get "robotic hand kit". Many people are selling these kits the one with serial, parallel or usb interface one robotic arm kit with pc interface - Google Search. The complexity of robotic hand, depends on how much you can spend on it. Interface with the computer,Instead of starting work from scratch. kindly have a look at these links also.
The best robotic hands
**broken link removed**
Hope this helps...

Not open for further replies.

Part and Inventory Search

Welcome to