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transformable winged keyboard 'grabshell' folds into a game-ready controller

Fully programmable and mechanical ‘grabshell’ 


Keyboards are evolving, straying from a single-pad layout. A stick keyboard that doubles as a ruler, a palm-sized console that can be used by a single hand, and now, a transformable winged keyboard that folds into a game-ready controller. GrabShell is a fully programmable and mechanical keyboard equipped with a joystick, trackball, and device-switching function.


Users can position the letter keys on their own, depending on how often they tap on that letter, and the keyboard functions either wired or wireless. There’s no need to connect a mouse since GrabShell has its own scroll wheel located at the lower left of the foldable keyboard. Moving the cursor works by wheeling the trackball within the right thumb’s reach, and the joystick and toggle switch are trigged under the left thumb’s control.


The spread-out design of GrabShell confers its aesthetic with a bulletproof vest style, and once folded, the side is faintly sloped to comfortably welcome the palms as the users hold onto the device. To avoid letting the transformable keyboard fall from one’s grasp, C-shaped handles are attached to the side, doubling as hooks for hanging and carrying.

transformable keyboard grabshell
images courtesy of GrabShell



transformable keyboard that can stand


The first concept of the design team behind GrabShell was to create a keyboard they can hold, use, and prop up on a surface when chosen. They acknowledged that a joystick-shaped device with similar use was invented years back while a back-facing keyboard had already been introduced, ideal for typing on mobile devices.


‘However, the ‘HandHeldKeyboard,’ as it was called, was intended to be held constantly and its usability suffered when placed on a surface. The concept was thus refined, and the result is a liberating and exciting keyboard that can be used both while holding it and while resting it on a surface,’ the GrabShell team writes.


The handheld, transformable keyboard then can stand on its own. When folded, its chunky size helps the keyboard act like a trophy on display. Laying the keyboard on the desk and turning it into a normal keyboard means spreading out its wings and letting the users type as if it were an electric piano.

transformable keyboard grabshell
the transformable keyboard has a joystick, toggle switch, scroll wheel, and trackball



Personal experience inspired the creation of GrabShell


dotBravo designs the transformable winged GrabShell keyboard from a personal experience. As the team shares, it was a coworker and software engineer named Matsu who sparked the inspiration to tinker with a foldable keyboard. Matsu insists on walking around the office as he types on his laptop and believes that this is the most efficient way for him to collaborate when looking at the same shared screen.


He finds it such a hassle though that he has to carry his screen and keyboard around at the same time. He addressed this concern in November 2020, and the design team hopped on the transformable keyboard idea to help Matsu, and a legion of people who share the same belief, conquer his keyboard-lugging hassle. dotBravo plans to deliver the first batch of GrabShell, a total of 1,000 units, around July 2023.

transformable keyboard grabshell
GrabShell is available in black and white

transformable keyboard grabshell
users can position the letter keys to their liking

transformable keyboard grabshell
the transformable keyboard doubles as a console controller

transformable keyboard grabshell
LED backlighting is also installed


transformable GrabShell keyboard from dotBravo


project info:


name: GrabShell

company: dotBravo

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