ShortStep: a comprehensive solution to foot control

Executive Summary

Much work on the computer today is extraordinarily repetitive: whether you are sorting e-mail, using a Computer Aided Design program, navigating in spreadsheets, or simply surfing, the intensely repetitive use of the keyboard imposes a tense body posture with well-known risks of short or long-term injuries.

The ShortStep foot keyboard allows you to drastically change body posture during repetitive work: you can lean back in your chair while working with little or no use of your arms.

The ShortStep innovation is a combination of a foot rest and a sophisticated key design. Almost all existing keyboard shortcuts, including the hundreds defined by some applications, are directly expressible by simple tabs on foot switches instantly reached from the comfortable resting area.


It is a considerable effort to build a working model. For those who have the resources, we provide source code (in Visual C++) footkeyboardcodeideas.cpp that implements the logic of synthesizing keystrokes and mouse events under Windows. The software is not complete, however, it must be linked with a USB driver (connected to a USB keyboard controller, such as made by Cyrix) programmed according to a matrix of codes.


RSI prevention, CTD prevention, foot keyboard, foot pedal
By Nils Klarlund.
Copyright © 2004 Carnegie Mellon University.
XSLT &PythonPowered