In a clever bit of miniaturization, [JediJeremy] has nearly completed a gyro-mouse controller for a Raspberry Pi Zero! Ultimately this will be a wearable Linux-watch but along the way he had some fun with the interface.
Using the MPU6040 gyroscope/accelerometer card from a quadcopter, [JediJeremy] spent a week writing the driver to allow it to function as a mouse. Strapping an Adafruit 1.5″ PAL/NTSC LCD screen and its driver board to the Zero with rubber bands makes this one of the smallest functional computer and screen combos we’ve seen. Simply tilt the whole thing about to direct the cursor.
It presently lacks any keyboard input, and [JediJeremy] has only added a single button for clicking, but look at this thing! It’s so tiny! In his own words: “I think this is the first computer that I can accidentally spill into my coffee, rather than vice versa.”
There have been a few issues along the way. He was originally planning to detect taps on the screen using the accelerometer and use that as the clicking input, but it disrupts the cursor position. The screen’s driver board also likes to overheat, and it tends to kill the battery life since the screen doesn’t shut off completely — but it is still a functional proof of concept.
Stripping away the need for clumsy mouse is in perfect thematic keeping with this efficient powerhouse of a computer. The best part is the extremely low price point of all the components so building your own is a cost-effective project as well! If that’s not to your taste, why not a button that plays a random episode of The Simpsons?