DIY project…

For electrical communication...

 Electronic commutation

DIY project

For my project I decided to investigate the possibility of constructing a computer mouse that operated in a 3d environment.


When I started my project I had the basic idea of using a USB video camera (web-cam) to track a LED that is moved by the user.

I originally started by using the web cam that was built into my laptop and a TV remote.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at this point I had no software but I had the basic idea of how it would work
 I still had no idea how I would use it to control the computer.
Then I was reminded of some projects I had seen in the past that could be used to solve the problem of ambient light.

http://www.hackaday.com/2005/10/24/infrared-digicam/
http://www.hackaday.com/2005/01/26/homemade-night-vision-scope/
http://www.hackaday.com/2006/12/20/digital-camera-ir-filter-removal/
 

I was now forming a better understanding of how these things worked and so my idea was to attach a led and a battery and mount on the hand in the form of a ring. I started to experiment with this form-factor. But I was having issues , the battery’s ran flat very quickly and were expensive and to make it click would have been very hard...
I had entertained the idea of clicking with  gesture moving towards the camera or a “o” shape but this would have made the software complicated  and unfriendly to the end users.
 

  

so I then proceeded to dismantle USB mice to try to use them as a interface so that clicking would not be a problem but this still had problems... as it turns out a computer shuts down if it has to much current draw on a USB port and there were other issues to do with the mouse circuitry pulsing the led… 

 then i was looking  at having batteries to power the power the IR led and USB to power the mouse but that was ridiculous not only would i have to replace wires but i would also have to replace batteries, later that day i went out and bought a cheep web cam (dick-smiths branded usb1.1 for $11) and a wireless mouse (office-works, $30) i then put the wireless mouse in a elab8 box along with two mercury switches so that when you rotated the ir mouse it would click . the whole assembly was placed in the box with the 2 AAA batteries (2x1.5v = 3v) witch when switched on also turned on the ir led . interestingly the mouse was not designed to ever switched off.

i then had to modify the web cam to see only IR light so that computer would not get confused, all that was involved n this was to disassemble the web-cam (the case did not survive when it did it )  open the lens assembly and remove the ir filter and replace it with a home-made ir pass filter ( ether the “burnt” ends of film negatives or the data platter of a 3½-inch floppy disk)  re assemble the web cam ( put it in a new case if you damaged the old one ) and now you have a camera that can see inferred light and to some extent blocks visible light

 here are some pictures taken from my window using the modified camera. 

 

 

 

  

i then started using the software  Robo-Realm “http://www.roborealm.com/” and i wrote a program using Robo-Realm it just looked for a bright spot and the looked for the center of it and them mapped the mouse to that point.(based on the code from http://www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Touch-Interface-on-the-cheapreally-cheap)

 

in conclusion
this was a very fun and educational  project that made me think.
for me this project is far from over as i plan to continue working on it until it is useable in everyday life or becomes a sell able object.


i will post the files if there is the demand.