Green Mouse

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Introduction: Green Mouse

Corded mice are a thing of the past. Computer mice use power, that we all know! How much power? Not enough for the average person to care. I'm sure that the millions of mice out there must add up to a substantial amount. Especially if you use rechargeable batteries. But that isn't my main concern. How many of you have a wireless mouse and have to constantly replace batteries to use it? And do you dispose of them properly? Heavy metals can enter the environment via a landfill and may produce the following potential problems or hazards:

-Pollute the lakes and streams as the metals vaporize into the air when burned.
-Contribute to heavy metals that potentially may leach from solid waste landfills.
-Expose the environment and water to lead and acid.
-Contain strong corrosive acids.
-May cause burns or danger to eyes and skin.

Because of this I propose a clean green mouse

Step 1: Green Methods

All of the methods below would require a wireless optical mouse. I will discuss possible ways of modifing this conventional mouse to a more environmentally friendly device.

METHOD 1
A solar powered mouse is not an obvious solution to this problem. You would think an office would not provide enough energy in terms of light. I was surprised to find a product out there that puts this energy to use and unfortunately I cant take credit for this Idea. Someone came up with it before me.

"Minister Cramer of the Ministry for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment is taking part in a user trial of the world's first exclusively photovoltaic-powered (PV) computer mouse."

source: http://www.tudelft.nl/live/pagina.jsp?id=e8c72be6-3452-4f04-b1ae-6d6b71f2b88d&lang=en

If I may say so, It is damn sexy

Unfortunately a solar panel is quite hard to integrate into a conventional mouse as there isn't much room with the batteries. A very efficient cell could be used so it doesn't have to be as large. It might also be uncomfortable to hold after the surface of the mouse has been altered.

It may be easiest to buy a relatively flat mouse and use a small solar panel, or even better, a flexible one and gluing it to the surface with resin. Many small solar panels could also be connected so that the panels lie flat.

Please comment below on any ideas you have

*Note: This instructable has no instructions and has been posted to inspire

Step 2: METHOD 2

METHOD 2

This idea I'm rather proud of and cannot find on the net (I might be incorrect). The idea was to use the motion of the mouse to power it. I do not know wether this is feasible. My idea was to use a heavy ball, just like in an old mechanical mouse, and replace the ball with a magnet in the shape of a ball or a magnet within some sort of heavy material. the magnet would then spin (omnidirectionally) within a coil (or many coils). This would hopefully provide enough power for the mouse to function. At first I thought I could find a cordless mechanical mouse but that turned out to be a dead end, as you could imagine. Therefore it would have to be an optical mouse with a separate power unit that consists of the magnetic ball and coils.

This is the idea I'm most keen on building, If I ever do I will post my results

Step 3: METHOD 3

METHOD 3
The reason why I thought up these ideas is beacause of a mouse I bought that is powered by induction, the same technique used to charge electric toothbrushes. As you would've guessed it runs off the power supplied by the USB port. I thought that if its possible to run a mouse on a weak magnetic field produced by alternating current, then it is surely possible to have an array of thin hardrive magnets to produce the field (the mouse would only work when moving but thats okay). For this to work the magnets would have to alternate in polarity. Yeah I know that it is probably a not a good idea to have a super powerful array of magnets sitting on your desk, especially not close to a CRT monitor. Instead of magnets you could still use a coil to produce the magnetic field, but powered by a solar panel. An even better idea would be to integrate the solar panel into the induction pad.

I will try the array of magnets and post it later on

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    64 Comments

    Depending on how serious of a gamer you are, or how much you use a pc you could even have a wrist band that charges with movement. I think this is 100% possible but now a days people can only envision optical mice. You would probably go back to mechanical. have a small motor on the 2 axis. The idea of rollers along the sides sounds good but would require bulk to collect it. There are ways also to capture static electricity as well. I have been playing with this idea a few days now. Clicking can create power, wheel mouse up and down. etc. I think you could at least very significantly extend the life of a wireless mouse.

    Here is an idea. Build a battery charger using the joule thief circuit. You can get "dead" batteries from your remote controls,electric toothbrushes,razors.etc and use these to power your joule thief circuit battery charger. Then you can charge your rechargeable AA batteries to use in your wireless mouse. I'll post plans to make one on my joule thief circuit website (http://joulethiefcircuit.com)soon

    A while ago I had an idea to have a magnetic mousepad and magnetic mouse with like poles facing each other. In theory, this would make the mouse levitate and have virtually no friction. It would also be quite annoying though, because the mouse can't be left on the mousepad.

    why not have cord coming out of your mouse but instead od it being connected to you computer it be connected to a solar panel?

    place a litle ball (like in the old .... mice) as you move the mouse around the ball would make the magnet spin and thus provide a current

    Buy two sets of batteries from http://www.usbcell.com so you can keep one set charging in your computer while you are using the mouse that way when the batteries die you are only down for the few seconds it takes to change the batteries.

    I just charge the beatteries with a little solar pannel in the window by my desk. one set in the charger, one set in the mouse. When the mouse starts to get unresponsive, just change them over.

    I switched to using a battery-free, uncorded Wacom mouse a while back. The tablet has a cord, of course, but the mouse does not. Most Wacom models come with both a pen and a mouse. Each device behaves differently in terms of the motion of the pointer; the pen positions the pointer in absolute proportion to its position on the pad (if the pen is in the upper left corner of the pad, the pointer is in the upper left corner of the screen), but the mouse moves the pointer relatively, just like a traditional mouse. The smallest model is not any more expensive than a nice Logitech mouse, and once you remove the snap-on clear part designed for artists, it's about the size of a traditional mouse pad.

    wacom.jpg
    3 replies

    I use one too, as is.  It was a little anoying  at first because it does not act exactly like an ordinary mouse but after a while you forget.  I never took the clear part off. It works  automatically in linux and  I installed drivers for it in xp. (Mine must be 4 years old).

    Yeah, I use the WACOM Banboo Fun tablet myself, but it's a tad small to use the mouse, so I don't end up using it all the time.

    I hadn't heard of this brand before you mentioned it. thanks

    You could use a larger solar panel and "dock" for the mouse to recharge a Li-ion battery in the mouse. In any event the mouse or the panel has to be left in a sunny spot for recharging, making the mouse hard to use in daylight hours.

    You could mount a magnet in a tube inside of the mouse with a coil of wire wrapped around the tube. Then as the mouse moved side to side it would generate a small voltage and recharge a battery or cap. Look at how a "shakey" flashlight works. Just a thought...

    I don't think there is enough movement to generate enough power to run the LED, the camera, the processor. You can easily calculate how much power going into moving a mouse with basic physics for Kinetic Energy, an.d you will probably sees that you will need to move the mouse non-stop.

    thats pretty cool. now that i think of it, the wireless mouse i use for my laptop batteries keep dying recently, but i just put in "dead" batteries i have already used to get the last bit of power they have. a comment i have on Method 3, thats basically the same idea used in graphics tablets too, for example the Wacom Graphire tablets (which is what every computer at my school uses). Great instructable

    2 replies

    Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude. search for 'joule thief' on here, then search for 'micro joule thief' or similar, you could easily build one into a wireless mouse and possibly extend battery life by up to 100% (based on my expericance with an led torch)

    an led is somewhat simpler than a mouse. I understand your enthusiasm for the joule thief circuit, because i share it. unfortunately, it would be impossible to power amouse with this circuit. the joule theif powers LED's with undercharged batteries using an inductor and a transistor to collect power. the transistor allows power to flow to the coil and ferrite, which incucts current in both coils for a split second, but it is enough time for the charge to build up. once the charge becomes high enough to power the LED, it passes through the LED, to the ground of the battery, lighting the LED. this happens hundreds of times every second,so it looks like an unbroken flow of electricity, but it is in fact turning on and off faster than your eye can see. this would not work for a mouse, because the transmitter circuit requires constant power. keep innovating, the uses for the joule thief in daily life are endless!

    Call me old fashioned but what about an wind up mouse? Could it work? Maybe you could have one of those kinetic motors in there... and it will charge up as you move the mouse? And for emergency you could wind it up... Now that would be cool! Anyone got any ideas if this would work or not?

    All good ideas. Also useful for keyboards. Idea 2 is used in my Seiko Kinetic watch. Very nice. You need some numbers to see whats viable and what isnt. Static electricity is never that useful, as current is very low.

    Great ideas! But no matter how the energy is produced, some sort of energy storage would be necessary in the product.