Glove80: The Incredibly Comfortable Ergonomic Keyboard

Created by MoErgo

A customizable split contoured wireless keyboard, with perfected ergonomics that uniquely adapts to you

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Day 59 Post Kickstarter
about 1 month ago – Sun, Apr 24, 2022 at 12:55:36 AM

Backer Survey

So far almost 95% of Kickstarter backers have completed the Backer Survey. That’s an incredible response rate. Thank you!

If you find that for some reason you have not received an invitation to the Backer Survey, please contact us at support@moergo.com. We noticed that a number of backers with Apple email addresses had problems receiving the invitation.

Please do note that we will not yet lock the orders. In fact we are working towards releasing a new batch of add-ons asked for by our backers, including the supplementary keycap sets and the black keycaps. We will send a Backer’s Update when they become available.

Case color and black keycaps

We have been working on the selection of the color of the slate grey case. It is more an art than a science to achieve an exact plastic color. After receiving the black and grey keycap samples, and consulting with our designer, we have decided to select a dark grey with a more neutral tone so that the grey case will work better with both the white caps (which come with Glove80) and the optional black caps. The slate grey chosen will be closer to a charcoal grey (roughly RGB #57595c).

RGB #57595c

The opaque black MCC-profile POM keycap samples have arrived. They are beautiful, and the legends are crisp. Do be aware that these black keycaps are opaque, so they won't let through the LED light; it will be difficult to see the Glove80 LED indicators in day-time. White translucent MCC-profile caps are recommended for Glove80, and these are what will be shipped with Glove80. The opaque black POM keycaps will be available on Backerkit as add-ons.

Opaque black keycap pre-production samples, which will be available as add-ons. Glove80 will be shipped with white translucent keycaps.

If you would like to update your choice for the case color, you can do so on Backerkit. If you would like further discussions on the case color, please find us on Discord.

Progress - Injection mold

The injection molds are progressing well. The designs for the molds are completed, and molds are being made. The injection molding factory has produced the first test article with the palm rest mold. 

Injection mold for the bottom case being made
First test article of the palm rest mold with a random black color. Surface texture not yet added.

Progress - Electronics

We have been busy working on the redesign of the PCBs. The Kickstarter process and our Discord community have given us plenty of ideas for improvements.

We have been listening. Here are the improvements we are incorporating into the controller PCBs:

  • LiPo battery connectors, so that no soldering is needed to replace LiPo batteries.
     
  • A more powerful LED driver to power LEDs at a brighter setting. Previously limited to 300mA (per side), now the LED current will be firmware limited to around 700mA (per side).
     
  • Improved battery life through a combination of electronics and firmware improvements.
     
  • More extension GPIO pins for electronics hackers. Previously 4, now 6!
     
  • An 1.27mm male pin header for GPIO extension. This is particularly exciting as it makes it far easier to extend the capability of Glove80. You will be able to plug-in a pre-made add-on module into the 1.27mm male pin header, without soldering.
     

To say that life is interesting in electronics-land is a bit of understatement at the moment. You will have heard of the supply chain crisis, but apparently it is getting worse and not any better. Quite a few of our preferred components are now globally out of stock, so we had to look for alternatives. Unfortunately this does mean that we have to test and re-qualify each of these replacement candidates, and to re-design the PCB around the replacement component.

We have completed the layout of the two controller PCBs. However we still need to complete the validation of the new LED driver design before we can make a batch of these (hopefully final) prototypes. We are now working on the PCBs for the fingers and thumbs.

PCB layout for the left hand controller board. Small & quite densely packed. Not to scale.

Referral Gift

If you are eligible for a referral gift, please be reassured that we have not forgotten about you. We are waiting for the black caps and the supplementary keycap sets to be finalized before sending the questionnaire.

What's next?

We will be continuing to work on the PCBs and to produce these (hopefully final) prototypes. The next major chunk of work would be production planning and PCB test-rig design.

That’s it from us for now.

Your chance to have your say in Glove80 supplementary keycap sets
about 2 months ago – Mon, Apr 04, 2022 at 06:43:03 AM

With its support for completely rearranging all keycaps, Glove80 offers a high degree of customizability when it comes to keycaps:

  • The labelled version of Glove80 ships with a total of 86 labelled keycaps
    Note: we include a second "Alt" key which is not in the picture.
  • Availability of add-on keycap sets for a range of international layouts (GB, DE, SE, NO, DK, JP & French AZERTY). Add-on keycap set for French BÉPO  layout is coming.
     

However, in our Discord community, many backers have expressed interest in supplementary keycap sets covering media keys, OS-specific symbols, neutral/universal symbols or other, "nerdy" keys.


If any of this sounds like something you are interested in, we need your help! Please fill out the Google Form below.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeyFAW8drtloGkUA9PGX1WpR25XNu-QFCg0hhzBtvDSMth8mQ/viewform?usp=sf_link


Note for backers: this is unrelated to managing your Kickstarter pledge or customizing your Glove80 order on Backerkit. Also, even if you don't fill out this form, you will be able to add keycap sets on Backerkit once we add them there. This Google Form is for collecting data so that we could determine what to include in each supplementary keycap set.


If you want supplementary keycap sets, you would help us greatly by also providing more specific data: please open our Glove80 Keycap Candidates for Supplementary Set(s) spreadsheet where we collect votes for individual keycaps.  Add your Discord name (or a unique nickname) to each keycap that should be in a set that you would buy.


If you have questions or would like to discuss supplementary keycap ideas, please join our Discord community at https://discord.gg/F9bHduXbq9 and open the channel #glove80-supplementary-keycaps.


A big thank you to @tynstar and other supporters on Discord for driving this effort. Thank you again.

Day 28 Post Kickstarter
2 months ago – Thu, Mar 24, 2022 at 03:45:07 AM

This is our first Backers Update. It has been an incredibly busy 28 days since the end of the Kickstarter campaign.

Backer Survey

We are using Backerkit Pledge Manager to help manage the pledges. Pledge management is anything but simple. Do you know there are a whopping 48 variations of Glove80 that we will ship for this Kickstarter?

If you are backer of the Glove80 Kickstarter Campaign, you will soon receive (if you have not received already) an invitation email to Backerkit to customize the Glove80(s) you have backed. You have until 24 April 2022 to make your choices and fill in the backer survey.

Please note that if we have not received your filled-in backer survey by 24 April 2022, you will receive the default choice of Glove80, which is a Standard Edition white case with labeled keycaps and soldered red switches.


Pre-order store

If you missed your chance of participating in the Glove80 Kickstarter campaign, fret not.

We are releasing a limited quantity of Glove80s in our first production batch through the Backerkit Pre-Order store.


Add-Ons

By popular demand we have added a few accessory items for Glove80, including the quick release tripod mount connector plates. The add-ons are available either through the Backer Survey or the Pre-Order store.

(Demonstration of the Quick Release Tripod Mount Connector Plates)


Standard Edition and Gamer Edition

Glove80 comes in two forms. The Standard Edition was originally supposed to have 18 LEDs on the left hand, and the Gamer Edition has LEDs under all 80 keys.

Some of you may recall that that Gamer Edition was originally a Kickstarter stretch goal. Having two separate PCB designs and related certifications add a big overhead cost, and so we needed a stretch goal to make that happen.

However we figured out a way to make Gamer Edition happen without reaching the stretch goal. With the new arrangement, the Gamer Edition and Standard Edition are now sharing the same PCBs. The Standard Edition now has all 40 LEDs populated on the left hand: in other words, backers of Standard Edition are now getting a free upgrade of 28 extra LEDs.

Needless to say, the 28 extra LEDs in the Standard Edition do add to our bill of material (BOM) costs. In our private conversations, some backers expressed a wish to contribute to the extra BOM costs. This is not necessary, but if you’d really like to, a small tip is always appreciated.


Progress - Injection mold

Our highest priority job is to finalize the plastic design and begin the production of the injection mold. Building and perfecting the injection mold have a long lead time, so to keep the schedule this must be done first.

So what is injection molding and how do we make an injection mold? The vast majority of plastic parts you see in everyday life are injection molded or made with a related process.

Here is an animated illustration to show how injection molding works. At a high level, two big metal plates come together, and melted plastic is squirted into a cavity that is formed between them. Then the plastic cools, the plates open, and the formed part is ejected.

By LaurensvanLieshout under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

The two metal plates are pushed together and pulled apart in a single straight-line motion. So how is it possible to mold a complex 3D shape, such as the Glove80 case, which is composed of hundreds of surfaces all in different directions? The answer is through very careful orientation and a clever design of plastic parts free of undercuts. Designing such a part is like solving an extremely complicated 3D jigsaw puzzle.

By Christoph Roser at AllAboutLean.com under the free CC-BY-SA 4.0 license

In reality, even the simplest injection mold is made of hundreds if not thousands of components. Here is the design of our MCC-profile keycap mold that we have already made:

MCC-profile keycap injection mold design

The great news is that after working closely with our injection molder for the last few weeks, we have successfully modified the Glove80 plastic case and palm rest designs to pass the Design For Manufacturing (DFM) review. The purpose of the DFM review is to make sure that the plastic design is feasible to be made by an injection mold to the expected quality. For example DFM includes checking to make sure no parts of the plastic design are too thick that will likely result in a shrinkage mark, or too thin that will likely result in a high failure rate, or with steep edges such that the surface could end up with streaks due to the ejection from the mold. This DFM process draws heavily on the experience of the engineers of our injection molding factory, and their knowledge of their particular manufacturing process and machines.

During this plastic design refinement process, we have managed to add a few improvements too:

  • Two extra anchor points for attaching a peripheral such as a trackball just north of the thumb cluster. Perfect for people wanting to customize/hack their Glove80.
2 extra mounting points added to make it easier to attach additional hacks or modules
  • No more need for a screwdriver for attaching and detaching palm rests. We were able to add captive thumb screws.
  • Improved fit and finish

So where are we with injection molding? We have now placed the order and paid the deposit for the injection molds. The first cut of the mold (T0 in industry parlance) is expected to be ready in May.


What's next?

We will be focusing on finalizing the electronics. We are looking to make some improvements following feedback from our Backers. We will also need to address the issues emanating from the semiconductor supply chain crisis. Even though we had already re-designed the PCB to use only components available at the time, some ‘common’ components have since vanished from the market.

That’s it from us for now.

Thank you! What an incredible finish to the Kickstarter Campaign!
3 months ago – Fri, Feb 25, 2022 at 09:44:06 AM

Hello from New Zealand and Japan!


First we would like to shout out to our backers and supporters for believing in Glove80 and believing in us. A giant thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our work with the world.

It's been an amazing 30 days. With 750 backers pledging, we reached a total of NZD$393,737 pledged. We will be shipping Glove80 all over the world to 36 countries.


What comes next?

Kickstarter will be automatically collecting pledges from backers in the next week. If they run into difficulties, they will send you an email. Please follow their instructions to resolve any issues.

We have selected BackerKit Pledge Manager for pledge management. Over the next couple of weeks, we will have BackerKit set up.

We expect to send out a survey in March for backers to choose the options you desire for their Glove80 (such as case color, switch type, whether switches-not-soldered, labelled or blank keycaps, and whether to have 80 LEDs). The Glove80 options will be locked sometime in April, so that we can source the material needed for manufacturing.

You will be able to continue to change your address through BackerKit, until close to the ship date.

Stephen will be taking a short break this long weekend to spend time with family and catch the last of the summer sun. Next week we will begin the most exciting phase of this journey. We have already teed up the DFM review meeting with the injection molder. We are also happy to report that the long lead time Bluetooth LE Modules (officially with 52 weeks lead time) that we pre-ordered have arrived.

Thank you again!

-- Stephen and Chris

Introducing Glove80 Referral Bonus: Lets Spread The Word and Hit The Stretch Goal
3 months ago – Fri, Feb 18, 2022 at 07:02:50 AM

This post is for backers only. Please visit Kickstarter.com and log in to read.