2
\$\begingroup\$

To save my hands from CTS (Capal Tunnel Syndrome), I want to have a mouse that uses an accelerometer, connected to any limb in the body, to replace the conventional mouse that you move with your hand.

In other words, I want a mouse that I can move with movements of my body that do not require me to move my hands away from my keyboard.

Did anyone make such a project? Is anyone selling such things? I could try to build this myself, but if someone already built one before, I prefer to rely on existing knowledge.

EDIT: What would be really nice is a link to a video of such a project that is built well enough to be used every day, not just a proof-of-concept.

\$\endgroup\$

closed as off-topic by Dmitry Grigoryev, laptop2d, Sparky256, DoxyLover, Chetan Bhargava Feb 9 '18 at 16:29

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Check out one of the many projects that include use of the accelerometers in Nintendo Wii "Nunchucks". They are often used as control devices. \$\endgroup\$ – tyblu Nov 5 '11 at 3:19
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have a similar issue...personally I use a wireless xbox 360 controller (the most ergonomic game pad controller on the market) in conjunction with software called xpadder (free) to customize the joystick and button layouts. Thus, the thumb sticks control the mouse directly. Mind you it takes a while to get used to and you will never achieve the same speed and precision as with a mouse but to put it in preservative, I do 3D CAD modeling regularly with the controller just fine. As a bonus, I'm pretty good at FPS games against my friends despite not owning a game console or playing any games. \$\endgroup\$ – Faken Nov 5 '11 at 4:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are plenty and they are more expensive then regular mice \$\endgroup\$ – laptop2d Feb 5 '18 at 4:06
5
\$\begingroup\$

I actually worked on building this device about 10 years ago. Here's the company that makes them: http://gyration.com/index.php/us/home.html

You can buy them various places online, e.g. Amazon.

The internals are pretty cool-- they contain a pair of vibrating beams that change the amplitude of their vibration due to the Coriolis effect as you rotate them in space.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting, but do I understand the device right, that the motion sensing only works for gestures? In a Youtube video I can see a red light beam when you put it on a desk, so it uses conventional optical sensors, when you want to use it as a pointing device, right? Video at 1:58 : youtube.com/watch?v=HKdS3JNP7ck \$\endgroup\$ – PetPaulsen Nov 5 '11 at 7:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The gyration mouse I had also had a laser + optical sensor for use like a traditional mouse. \$\endgroup\$ – pfyon Nov 7 '11 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ "I want a mouse that I can move with movements of my body that do not require me to move my hands away from my keyboard". \$\endgroup\$ – Ram Rachum Nov 8 '11 at 12:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ram Rachum: I don't understand why you're quoting yourself. Get a Gyromouse, or something like it, strap it to one of your limbs, and move that limb. I think it does exactly what you're asking for. I imagine it will be hard to control a pointer with your leg or elbow, but I think that's inherent to our anatomy. \$\endgroup\$ – pingswept Nov 13 '11 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Touché. Marked as correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Ram Rachum Nov 14 '11 at 11:01
2
+50
\$\begingroup\$

If DIY interests you, might like to check out TI's Chronos ez430. And do scroll down on that page (or search if you will), for "Chronos Flying Mouse", it does have a video too (pretty impressive).

It is an open-source hardware, based on TI's cc430, which is actually an MSP430 with a Chipcon (the RF module co., TI bought) RF transceiver IP on same package, pretty neat. I have one of those, and I've had time only to play with the bundled demo's which has a pseudo mouse function, which is quite rudimentary. Haven't tried the "Chronos Flying Mouse" though, but from the video looks quite nice. Of course, I do not expect it to be able to replace a mouse or say a touch-screen for precision, ease-of-use, speed.

In fact, if you do not want to DIY anything, the ez430 and the software mentioned above still should work without much effort (I think).

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

These guys built a 3D Mouse.

But reading the section "Position Based Approach" and based on my little knowledge about IMU's (Inertial measurement units) I would say that it is quite hard to get a position like the traditional computer mouse would give.

When you integrate the acceleration (twice) to get a position, the position will drift with time. I think that would be annoying for a pointing device.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just need to change the way it works: only change pointer position when there is acceleration that that direction. BLAM - millionaire. \$\endgroup\$ – tyblu Nov 5 '11 at 3:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ But how do you handle noise? How do you know whether the device is actually moving? When you integrate that noise, you get the mentioned drift. \$\endgroup\$ – PetPaulsen Nov 5 '11 at 7:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The idea is not to integrate. Respond to changes in velocity (accel.), not position, @PetPaulsen. Then, noise in the original signal can be dealt with traditionally. \$\endgroup\$ – tyblu Nov 5 '11 at 20:43
1
\$\begingroup\$

I've got one of these on my home multimedia PC (connected to TV). Its more of a accelerometer based remote control concept mouse/keyboard rolled into one.

There are solution similar to what you're looking for, like this :

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ "I want a mouse that I can move with movements of my body that do not require me to move my hands away from my keyboard". \$\endgroup\$ – Ram Rachum Nov 8 '11 at 12:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RamRachum if that is what you need, then you could leverage the fact that any accelerometer based mouse is logically a "relative motion tracker", which simply helps identify a motion-vector. So, in effect you could reprogram / repurpose any hand-held/wrist-wound such device to be worn on any limb, just as folks remap the keys on their keyboard or the buttons of a joystick/gamepad. Of course, this may require careful calibration. \$\endgroup\$ – icarus74 Nov 10 '11 at 4:19

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.