Instructables

Tailored Touch - a mouse from touch sensitive pads, fitted to you

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Picture of Tailored Touch - a mouse from touch sensitive pads, fitted to you
Tailored Touch is a way to make any input device from touch sensitive pads, which can be fitted to any person.

It is great for people with shaky movements and poor motor control, such as those with cerebral palsy.

This instructable describes how to make the mouse, but we have also made a midi keyboard from the same materials, which we will also post soon.
 
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Step 1: Get the ingredient parts

Picture of Get the ingredient parts
First you will need to gather the following items:

Starting top right, and going clockwise, finally spiralling into the centre

1. 0.1" (2.54mm) Crimp Connector Housing: 2 Pin - we need 6 of these.  Can use a different size, as long as you have enough for 12 pins total.
2. Male Crimp Pins for 0.1" Housings - again 12 total
3. Multi-core wire
4. Small washers - you guessed it, 12 total
5. USB to USB Micro cable
6. Breadboard. This size or bigger is great
7. Header pins - 3 sets of 12 pins, and 1 set of 6 pins
8. MPR121 chip on a breakout board, again by sparkfun
9. 3.3v Pro Micro - a mini Arduino board made by SparkFun
10. 5x jumper wires - different colours preferred, or single core wire can also be used.

Step 2: Get the tools

Picture of Get the tools
Here are the tools I use, again clockwise from top left:

1. Wire strippers - this type is very cheap and works well for our needs
2. Pliers - toothed nose rather than smooth is best - for crimping the crimp pins.  A crimping tool here is even better
3. A "Third hand" tool for soldering (optional, but helps)
4. Paperclips to help soldering the header pins
5. Solder
6. Soldering Iron
7. Soldering iron tip cleaner - again somewhat optional, but helps

Step 3: Solder the header pins

Picture of Solder the header pins
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First we'll solder the header pins.  Paperclips can be great for holding them in place while you solder - see photos!

Once you have 3-4 pins soldered in you can take off the paperclips to do the rest.

Solder headers onto both sides of the ProMicro, and both sides of the MPR121 Breakout board.
procastino1 year ago
Is there any way to make this work on Linux? Our school computers don't have windows and we would love to have this project running...
HHCD (author)  procastino11 months ago
Once built it plug and play straight into any windows or mac machine, and I assume into any linux machine too - do try it and let me know, but I bet it'll work straight off.
procastino HHCD11 months ago
Yes it works on the linux machines I tested!!

I showed this to a local association that works with disabled children and they loved it! Great work!!
HHCD (author)  procastino11 months ago
Wow, fantastic! Would love to hear more about this if you don't mind sharing, either by phone or email? You can reach me at samuel [dot] jewell [at] network.rca.ac.uk
Interesting. As I suffer from RSI I've experimented with many alternatives to the mouse, although unfortunately most still focus on using hand/arm. Personally I'm hoping one day for the technology to be cheap enough to recognise eye movement to pointer.
HHCD (author)  AntonRCasares11 months ago
You can also lay out the pads in an arc in front of you, and we even tried using it with legs / feet instead of hands! Its definitely possible...
JoeStrout1 year ago
Your ingredient list here doesn't list the key ingredients. Step 10 adds "Conductive Paint." And I still don't see how it works — does the user hold on to the other end of the wire? Where exactly is the circuit you're making?

It's a cool project, but I hate having to click through a dozen steps to find the key bits... it'd be great if, in the future, you could give away the secret right on step 1. Barring that, at least give it away on the last step. This one ends with "upload the attached code to your Arduino," which really doesn't tell us anything about how it works.
Every Instructable presupposes some knowledge on the part of the readers. In the case of Arduino builds, a certain amount of electronics knowledge is assumed.

The wires go from the conductive pads to the Arduino, which detects the touches and sends the information to your computer via the USB cable.

The program inside the Arduino converts the touch sensor data into the format required by the computer.

For more information on Arduinos, the given Sparkfun link is a good place to start. For general information on electronics, Wikipedia is your friend.
I've been working with Arduinos for years, as well as designing my own custom circuit boards, etc. Lack of electronics knowledge wasn't the problem here.

Anyway, BareConductive, thank you for clarifying what's going on in this project.
Ah, OK, I've downloaded and unzipped the source, poked through it, and found the key bit I was looking for.

The magic in this project is done by the MPR121 breakout board, which is listed in the ingredients but not explained. This is a capacitive touch sensor chip with an I2C interface (so you can access it from Arduino using the Wire class). This board is also what drives the use of a 3.3V Arduino board. For more info, see: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9695
HHCD (author)  JoeStrout11 months ago
Yeah apologies that we hadn't put all the ingredients on the first page - we were out of time for our deadline. Cheers for your interest tho- have you done any capsensing as a result?
Hey Joe, a bit late but just saw your question. The pads are working by capacitive touch, so unlike the MaKey MaKey you don't have to complete the circuit to trigger the sound.

nice project ,aurdino concept was good.

http://www.indiadimers.com/
mechagen1 year ago
this is awesome
looop451 year ago
heh, its a diy makey makey
Exactly what I thought.
jswaim11 year ago
Nice mouse. It was a really good idea! I need to make one now.

P.S. LRSD= Little Rock School District. Try lrsd.org
Very cool! A very innovative idea!
I love your idea of paperclips for soldering headers !
darman121 year ago
Cool beans