There are already commercially available mice that can be operated with the chin, mouth or tongue, but they tend to cost hundreds of dollars. Thingiverse member Tobias Wirtl hopes that he’s laid the foundation for a drastically cheaper alternative by creating a mouth-operated mouse using a 3D printer and about $20 (USD) worth of off the shelf electronics.
Tobias’ mouse has a 3D printed box, joystick mount and mouthpiece. It’s controlled by an Arduino Pro Micro and connects to computers via USB. A joystick lets the user move the cursor around with her mouth. The user can push the joystick to emulate a right click and suck air through the stick to mimic a left click. Tobias achieved the latter by repurposing the sensor from an e-cigarette.
Tobias and his mouse won first place at MakerBot’s 2015 Assistive Technology Challenge. But Tobias knows that his invention still has a long way to go. Some of his suggestions for the mouse’s future versions include wireless connectivity via Bluetooth and keyboard and gamepad emulation. Head to his Thingiverse page for the mouse’s 3D files and build guide.