Ergonomic Vertical Mouse

vertical mouse

I love waking up and finding a great project from a reader like this ergonomic mouse (cache). As you can see from the picture, the centerpiece is the massive scroll wheel made from a VCR head. He credits jpaturzo for the idea. The inertia of the wheel gives a lot better sense of how fast you are progressing through a document than methods like auto-scroll. The mouse is assumed to be more ergonomic because it keeps the bones in your forearm in line. The hand rest on the mouse is formed from Shapelock.

23 thoughts on “Ergonomic Vertical Mouse

  1. those VCR heads will really cut up the skin on your hand if you keep spinning it around whale you hold it, those machined edges are Sharp. (but I suppose most of the cuts I got from handleing VCR heads didnt hurt, but my hands sure did look narly when they would get dirt in those cuts!) but I suppose its not nearly as sharp and cut inducing as a lot of the other parts on that mouse!

    whats so ergonomic about something that is going to cut you.

    but it looks way cool, if you like that future made of junk look if only it was a little dirtier, definitely a candidate for the post apocalyptic world of road warrior!

  2. The inertia scroll wheel sounds cool and all, and I understand the ergonomicity of having your hand in the verticle position, but has anyone ever used a “vertical” mouse before? I haven’t but read on..

    Move your normal mouse around to specific points (such as toolbar icons) on the screen and watch what your hand does. Major movements are accomplished with movement of the wrist and maybe arm, but the fine positional detail is accomplished using your fingers with your wrist planted in the table.

    Now try the same thing but instead rest the side of your palm on the top of your mouse. Notice you loose that find control because now you can’t use your fingers for small movements. You now have to use your shoulder and elbow to control even the fine movements of your mouse as even your wrist has little control.

  3. Interesting hack. Looks like Shapelock is just good old “Friendly Plastic”.

    Didn’t think they made that anymore. I loved that stuff when I was a kid, though I’ve heard it doesn’t hold up (though my personal experience would suggest otherwise).

  4. anyone else think the guy took alot of unnecessary steps with wiring in the switches? Essentially, he took 2 perfectly good switches, and made one shitty looking switch. Couldn

  5. hrrrm, well usually things with words like ‘ergonomic’ tend to be more of a hassle to use then traditional things. There are loads of commerical devices like this (none quite as interesting however :-P).

    Personally, I think until we get to hand gestures and other forms of tracking with lasers and nifty sci-fi dodads will we really be ‘ergonomic’.

    Anyways: I love the giant scroll wheel, it give it more of dial feel (because it is one, but thats besides the point) and I like that. I might rape my broken VCR and run with the idea, i have a nice little wireless optical mouse to play with :D

  6. Thanks to all for your comments!

    Blahananas – There weren’t any sharp edges on this VCR head, I guess I lucked out.

    stukkm – I spin the wheel with either my thumb or middle finger. I’ll see what I can do about a video.

    mike m – You have the right idea, but with this mouse I rest my elbow on the table, not my wrist. So, I haven’t really lost any of the finger control (put your hand vertically to the right of your mouse, not on it).

    cash – You’re right, the extra weight is there and I certainly wouldn’t try using this for games.

    shotgun – I sure hope this shapelock holds up… Plan B is to use plumber’s putty.

    rombus – I’ve updated the page to say so, but the reason I didn’t use the Radio Shack switches as they were is because they didn’t click and had very stiff springs. They also moved a lot further before making contact. In short, higher finger strain and no tactile feedback.

    jpaturzo – Once again, seriously, thank you for the inspiration on this project.

  7. i built one ! :)
    yeah i was realy bord this easter ewwkend and my dad had just bought a new mouse, so i ripped appart the old vcr ect and made a sneaky computer mouse. i would post pics but hack a day wont let me :( anyway its pretty cool more of a conversation pice than a functional pice of hardware. i moustly use it for scrolling through word documents or music. anyway i like it great hack !

  8. I saw this hack and for some reason I just had to do it. The only problem was I didn’t have an old VCR or any metalworking tools, etc. so I used the next best thing – Legos of course. I just pulled the scroll wheel out of a cheap wireless mouse and rigged it up to an axle with some gears and a Lego wheel on it. Not quite as fancy looking as a big metal wheel but it gets the job done.

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