Charlie Sorrel over at Gadget Lab found this Chinese typewriter at an art exhibit in Barcelona. It has 2000 characters to choose from, but instead of buttons, you use levers to select those characters.
Apparently, by manoeuvring the two levers, there's a grabber that can pick up the character and print it on the page. This method let the fastest operator type at 20 words per minute. You could also swap characters in and out of that silver bed in front of the roller to choose more words from the Chinese language.
Sorrel also went deeper with his research and found other models that adopted a button system which would mash together different brush strokes or half characters in one spot to form full characters. One such model used 72 buttons and could form 9000 words. But that's just the tip of the iceberg—there are plenty other interesting facts over at [Gadget Lab] .