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Electronic Abacus

Picture of Electronic Abacus. Click to see larger image

Abax Systems Inc. - North Vancouver, BC

Client's Request:
To develop the electronics and the housing for an electronic abacus to be sold into the Japanese educational system.

KLN's Contribution:
Electrical and mechanical design engineering plus providing the firmware and one fully functional prototype.

The electronic abacus was meant as an input device for a newly developed educational computer program. This input device had to be handheld and resemble as close as possible an original abacus. It additionally needed to emulate part of a computer keyboard, namely the number key pad, a clear button, the F1 to F7 keys and the arrow keys, in order to allow manual interaction with the computer.

The device was implemented using a microprocessor, optical switches, a thermo-formed enclosure, and screen printed overlays. Herewith, a fully functional prototype which measures approximately 8" x 5" x 1" (20 cm x 13 cm x 3 cm) was provided, keeping tooling costs to a minimum.

Less than two months after commencement of this project, KLN delivered the complete working electronic abacus to the client, who then took it with all the electronic and mechanical documentation produced by KLN to Japan, to have these units built and sold there.

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