Fiberoptic mouse prevents stray magnetic fields

[Ben] needed an input device that would operate where electrical signals and magnetic fields wouldn’t be tolerated, so he ended up running fiberoptics instead of electricity to a mouse.

[Ben] ran some glass fiber from the mouse to quadrature encoders to get the x and y velocity. Mouse clicks are read by modifying the existing buttons with a small shutter to block light from shining through the button frame. This isn’t the first time [Ben] adapted fiberoptics to an input device. Last year, he also built a fiberoptic joystick using the same principles.

We covered [Ben]‘s DIY Electron Microscope last month, and we’re wondering if these two projects are related. His project log said he was getting distorted images from the electric field coming from his cooling fan and heater. Maybe he solved that problem and is now just tracking down every last unwanted electromagnetic emission.

Video of the mouse after the break.

Comments

  1. emilio says:

    wow, that’s stunning – brilliant! that looks like a totally patentable idea, as well.

    so, it’s a ball mouse? what about using an optical mouse and some aligned fibers? it would cut down ok the number of fibers needed.

    also, perhaps multiplex the signals with colors?

  2. hawkeyaez1 says:

    So, is a fiber keyboard next? That will support more than 6 simultaneous key presses at once…. Just use a few prisms to break the frequencies up.

  3. Hirudinea says:

    This is very impressive, it could be used with brain function studies in an FMRI, execelent.

  4. Aleksander says:

    Nice.
    But, is it really necessary to have 6 light sources?
    Since they are all on all the time, surely you can use just one fiber and distribute it trough for instance a piece of acrylic?

  5. kaaaaaaang says:

    What an interesting overkill!

  6. Fallen says:

    That is amazing!

  7. therian says:

    with a proper shielding escaped noise will be less than static created by humans so this is overkill

  8. Alexander says:

    @therian – Yes, but now you never have to think about that again. Also, the fiber is a lot thinner than properly shielded cable. And can be run for loooooooong distances easily, because of the interconnects.

    And, who here can HONESTLY say they have a laser mouse? Only one man.

  9. Pedro says:

    Alexander, the Class 1 Laser Product warning sticker on the bottom of my Logitech G5 (over 5 years old now, so it’s now actually rubbed off) disagrees.

  10. jzoe says:

    What interests me most is thinking of what kind of environment would require this. MRI sounds like a good guess, but there are a few things that would need attention. A mouse ball is typically rubber of steel (ever had one thrown at you?), so that might need to be replaced. The screws and springs inside the mouse seem like the last bits of metal that might need attention.

  11. o says:

    @jzoe:

    An electromagnetic scientific experiment in which you have to eliminate all possible sources of error is one reason to build this.

  12. Renee says:

    There are also certain industrial specifications when working around volatile materials and explosives to have no electrical equipment because of the possibility of an electrical discharge.

    So, no it’s not overkill.

  13. svofski says:

    In a computer magazine Mi Computer №119, April 1986, there was an article about a computer called Conquer Chestnut that was to have mouse and keyboard attached by optical cables. I believe there was no reason for this, other than being futuristic. I don’t think the computer reached the market, though.

  14. jeditalian says:

    my laser mouse is lacking all stickers and writing that came on it, except for the faint remnants of ‘DPI’ near the DPI switch.

  15. Max says:

    Guys. This has been done before. Check out NATA Technologies. They have a bunch of products based on fiberoptic technology. Apparently they have a mouse thats capable of 1200dpi with an optical cable.

  16. HZD says:

    Wow what an stupid ass idea. . . .

    MM Fibre to power a ball mouse should have just converted a Laser mouse converted its signal to light to be picked up by the reviver at the base station and converted for use with the PC/MAC/what ever.

    its like a 600 dollar shitty mouse.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,615 other followers