Introduction: Control Your Computer... With a LASER!

Have you ever been annoyed because you have to get close to your computer when you use it? Have you ever wished for a wireless mouse, but never quite ended up buying one? Well here's a temporary solution for you!
This lets you control mouse motion (mouse clicks just added!) with an everyday $1 laser pointer from up to 20 feet away (and way, way further if you have a more powerful laser).
When choosing lasers, however, use caution. If you pick a way overpowered green laser (like one that can burn things and set matches on fire), you may end up damaging the optics on your mouse. All cheapo dollar store laser pointers are perfectly safe - just use caution on any laser you need to wear "lasershades" for.

You can read through the whole Instructable or just use the video below... ENJOY!

Also, if you like this Instructable, please give it a (+) rating and/or comment. Thanks!

NOTE: This Instructable has been updated to include mouse clicking!!! The video has also changed to incorporate this.

Step 1: The Materials

Here's what you will need:

  • An optical mouse (I bet your computer already uses one)
  • A laser pointer (you can use a cheap $1 laser pointer0.

Step 2: The Setup

Position your mouse by standing it up (leaning against the monitor). This will allow you to control the mouse from anywhere in the room! Make sure the underside of the mouse (the side with the shiny red thingy) is facing the room - not the monitor.


Now for the fun part...

First, identify the sensor on your mouse. It will be recessed and it will look like a tiny bubble tinted black. When you move the mouse on a mouse-pad, the mouse shines a laser below it and this sensor picks up the light and interprets it as movements. So this sensor move based on incoming light... and you have a laser which emits light.
SO, by putting the two together, if you shine the laser so the dot hits the sensor on the mouse, you can control the movement of the mouse!
After you first get a "lock" on the mouse, you no longer have to shine the laser directly at the sensor - just in its vicinity. If you move the laser right, the cursor moves right. It really works and it is really cool.
It might not be *that* useful, but hey, it is FUN!

Step 4: Add Clickability

Adding clickability is so easy!
You only need these parts:
  • LDR (about $0.50, available at any electronics store. Also called a Photo Resistor)
  • Straw (this will be used to make the barrel for the LDR)
  • Electrical Tape (to "insulate" the barrel from light)

First, open up the mouse and find the button controlling the left mouse click. Solder two wires to the button leads.

Next, go ahead and create the barrel by wrapping the straw in electrical tape. Make sure no light can pass through the side of the straw.

Go ahead and solder the Photo Resistor to the two wires sticking out of the mouse (there is no polarity). When the photo resistor does not contact light, there is a lot of resistance. When it does contact light, there is very little resistance (this simulates a button click).

Lastly, insert the LDR into the barrel and tape it in place.

You're DONE!!!!

To click,shine the laser into the barrel. It's as simple as that!

Step 5: Increasing Movability....

If the cursor is too sensitive, it is easy to fix!
Just follow these images:

Also, if you want to learn more about lasers, go to the laser forum
If you want to buy the laser pointer I used, go to this laser pointer shop.
Posted by Laser Community member: ghost

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