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Homemade footmouse, foot mouse

This is a movie of my homemade footmouse (or "foot mouse").
In the movie I explain how it works.

Install flash to see the movie.


Summary

Idea: 1997.
First prototype: 2003.
Made with aid of 4 others.
Rotating left-right motion by a horizontal ball bearing.
Front up-down tilting motion by a vertical door hinge.
An optical mouse on the front side of the right pedal moves along a concave surface.
Concave shape (the opposite of a sphere): made of construction foam (PU-foam).
Wood: plywood, 10 mm thickness.
The right foot controls the position of the cursor.
The left foot controls four mouse buttons.

The details of my footmouse are on the details page.

Advantages

• It relieves the neck.
• There is no need to lift the hand to change between the mouse and the keyboard.
• It is possible to type and move cursor around, at the same time.
• The position of the right foot defines directly the position of the cursor. That is much more efficient than setting a speed and a direction for the cursor.
• The weight of the feet and legs always rest fully on the pedals. There is never any need to lift a foot to move it around.
• There is almost no practice time necessary, the foot motion is in a natural way. Only precise motions need a number of weeks to practice. After that the mouse speed in the mouse driver can be set higher, which is more convenient.
• The footmouse on its own can be used to control the computer. But it is however better to have more input devices, like an ordinary mouse, a trackball, keyboard, speech recognition, pen-tablet, etc.

Disadvantages

• The legs can't be stretched. Because at that moment it is not possible to control the cursor, and you need to place your feet properly on the footmouse again.
• It increases the muscle tension in the legs. This reduces the blood flow and might increase the risk of thrombus.
• It is slower than an ordinary mouse, and it is less accurate.
• The cursor on the screen is sometimes stuck to a side while the right pedal is in the middle position. So the right foot has the move far in a direction to get the cursor somewhere in the middle of the screen. This is a minor problem. After a while you don't even have to think about it.
• There is no scroll-wheel. There are ways to add one, but I don't know a good solution yet.

If you want to build your own footmouse, check the details page.

Last change to this page: October 2011