With all focus of computer technology advancement placed on processors and memory, sometimes the most simple of components are overlooked. This is especially the case with the mouse, a device that has changed very little since its conception by Xerox. It still retains its basic shape and function in moving a cursor within a graphical user interface for users to easily and effectively use their computers. Although the interface of the mouse to the computer has changed a numerous of time (serial, PS2, USB, etc), the actual mechanics of the mouse has undergone only about two changes in 2 decades! There originally was the classic ball mouse that turned wheels to indicate movement. Recently, optical mice that used cameras to detect changes in the surface at you moved the mouse have become more and more popular. Although the shape and ergonomics of a mouse has changed over the years, the interaction to the mouse has not changed.
Our project attempts to break the traditional mouse mold by taking a completely different approach of how a person uses a mouse to interact with his or her computer. We attempt to design and implement a mouse that senses and determines movement using an Analog devices ADXL202AE accelerometer and some human ingenuity with hand movements. We idealize this mouse as a ring that a person can put around his finger, and either by turning their wrists or pointing up and down, the person will be able to interact with their mouse cursor. The ring will have integrated buttons for left/right click and to turn off movement detection so that the mouse pointer will not become jittery as a person types or handles other tasks. Another ideal packaging for the mouse could be in a shape of a ball, and the user simple rotates and twists the ball to move the cursor.
High Level Design
The accelerometer is interfaced with the STK200 board running the Atmel ATMEGA163 microcontroller chip. The accelerometer was soldered onto a custom PCB and the analog outputs were tapped for analog to digital conversion. The circuit board looks as follows.
For more detail: ECE 476 Final Project Spring 2002 Gmouse