PC Mouse Made With Arduino Uno and Joystick




About: Student at UW-Madison studying Applied Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering. Also pursuing a minor in Archaeology. I have a passion for tinkering.

Hi! Welcome to my first Instructable.

I recently began tinkering with my new Arduino Uno and decided to find an application for a PS2 joystick module. I thought it would be nifty to turn my Arduino into a joystick controlled mouse for my PC.

I must confess: I thought the task would be easy using the "mouse" library I found online, little did I realize that this class only works with Arduino Leonard and Micro (and perhaps a few others), but not the ubiquitous Uno. I was discouraged, but I decided to use the Uno's serial communication as well as my rudimentary Java abilities to "hack" the Uno into a functional mouse for Windows. It surprisingly worked! Here's how:

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Step 1: Materials

This project does not require many materials:

1 Arduino Uno

5 male to male wires

5 female to female wires (to connect to joystick module and to add extension length for joystick.

1 Joystick (I used the SainSmart PS2 joystick module and would recommend it)

Step 2: Setting Up the Arduino Uno

The setup of the Uno can be seen in the materials picture, and here's the instructions:

Connect the five female to female wires to the pins of the joystick module. Now, connect five male to male wires into the ends of the female wires and connect them to the Arduino in this way:

1. The Ground on the joystick to Arduino Gnd

2. The +5V on the joystick to Arduino 5V

3. The UPx on the joystick to A0 on the Arduino

4. The UPy on the joystick to A1

5. The SW pin (the digital click switch) to digital pin 7 on the Arduino

Step 3: Upload the Joystick Program to Arduino

Connect the Uno to your PC and upload the joystick code seen here (please note I did not create this code originally):

int pushPin = 7;       	// potentiometer wiper (middle terminal) connected to analog pin 3
int xPin = 0;
int yPin = 1;
int xMove = 0;
int yMove = 0;
			// outside leads to ground and +5V
int valPush = HIGH;     // variable to store the value read
int valX = 0;
int valY = 0;
void setup()
	Serial.begin(9600);         //  setup serial

void loop()
	valX = analogRead(xPin);    // read the x input pin
	valY = analogRead(yPin);    // read the y input pin
	valPush = digitalRead(pushPin); // read the push button input pin
	Serial.println(String(valX) + " " + String(valY) + " " + valPush);    //output to Java program

Step 4: Setting Up Java Program

Now that the Uno is set up, we need to connect it to my Java program which is capable of taking the Uno's serial output values with the special library RxTx and moving the mouse with the library collection JNA. Both of these libraries are included for download at the end of this step. Please note that the only part of the code I changed from the example RxTx was adding the method that moves the mouse in a way that I calibrated for my joystick. It's a bit crude, but it served my purposes.

I used BlueJ as my IDE, but whichever Java IDE you use, install RxTx and JNA libraries for this project, which I named "Mouse". Once that's done, created a project and include this code:

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.InputEvent; import java.io.BufferedReader; import java.io.InputStreamReader; import java.io.OutputStream; import gnu.io.CommPortIdentifier; import gnu.io.SerialPort; import gnu.io.SerialPortEvent; import gnu.io.SerialPortEventListener; import java.util.Enumeration; public class Mouse implements SerialPortEventListener { SerialPort serialPort; /** The port we're normally going to use. */ private static final String PORT_NAMES[] = { "/dev/tty.usbserial-A9007UX1", // Mac OS X "/dev/ttyACM0", // Raspberry Pi "/dev/ttyUSB0", // Linux "COM4", // Windows**********(I changed) }; /** * A BufferedReader which will be fed by a InputStreamReader * converting the bytes into characters * making the displayed results codepage independent */ private BufferedReader input; /** The output stream to the port */ private OutputStream output; /** Milliseconds to block while waiting for port open */ private static final int TIME_OUT = 2000; /** Default bits per second for COM port. */ private static final int DATA_RATE = 9600; int buttonOld = 1; public void initialize() { // the next line is for Raspberry Pi and // gets us into the while loop and was suggested here was suggested http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f... //System.setProperty("gnu.io.rxtx.SerialPorts", "/dev/ttyACM0"); I got rid of this CommPortIdentifier portId = null; Enumeration portEnum = CommPortIdentifier.getPortIdentifiers(); //First, Find an instance of serial port as set in PORT_NAMES. while (portEnum.hasMoreElements()) { CommPortIdentifier currPortId = (CommPortIdentifier) portEnum.nextElement(); for (String portName : PORT_NAMES) { if (currPortId.getName().equals(portName)) { portId = currPortId; break; } } } if (portId == null) { System.out.println("Could not find COM port."); return; } try { // open serial port, and use class name for the appName. serialPort = (SerialPort) portId.open(this.getClass().getName(), TIME_OUT); // set port parameters serialPort.setSerialPortParams(DATA_RATE, SerialPort.DATABITS_8, SerialPort.STOPBITS_1, SerialPort.PARITY_NONE); // open the streams input = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(serialPort.getInputStream())); output = serialPort.getOutputStream(); // add event listeners serialPort.addEventListener(this); serialPort.notifyOnDataAvailable(true); } catch (Exception e) { System.err.println(e.toString()); } } /** * This should be called when you stop using the port. * This will prevent port locking on platforms like Linux. */ public synchronized void close() { if (serialPort != null) { serialPort.removeEventListener(); serialPort.close(); } } /** * Handle an event on the serial port. Read the data and print it. In this case, it calls the mouseMove method. */ public synchronized void serialEvent(SerialPortEvent oEvent) { if (oEvent.getEventType() == SerialPortEvent.DATA_AVAILABLE) { try { String inputLine=input.readLine(); mouseMove(inputLine); System.out.println("********************"); //System.out.println(inputLine); } catch (Exception e) { System.err.println(e.toString()); } } // Ignore all the other eventTypes, but you should consider the other ones. } public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception { Mouse main = new Mouse(); main.initialize(); Thread t=new Thread() { public void run() { //the following line will keep this app alive for 1000 seconds, //waiting for events to occur and responding to them (printing incoming messages to console). try {Thread.sleep(1000000);} catch (InterruptedException ie) {} } }; t.start(); System.out.println("Started"); } // My method mouseMove, takes in a string containing the three data points and operates the mouse in turn public void mouseMove(String data) throws AWTException { int index1 = data.indexOf(" ", 0); int index2 = data.indexOf(" ", index1+1); int yCord = Integer.valueOf(data.substring(0, index1)); int xCord = Integer.valueOf(data.substring(index1 + 1 , index2)); int button = Integer.valueOf(data.substring(index2 + 1)); Robot robot = new Robot(); int mouseY = MouseInfo.getPointerInfo().getLocation().y; int mouseX = MouseInfo.getPointerInfo().getLocation().x; if (button == 0) { if (buttonOld == 1) { robot.mousePress(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK); robot.delay(10); } } else { if (buttonOld == 0) robot.mouseRelease(InputEvent.BUTTON1_DOWN_MASK); } if (Math.abs(xCord - 500) > 5) mouseX = mouseX + (int)((500 - xCord) * 0.02); if (Math.abs(yCord - 500) > 5) mouseY = mouseY - (int)((500 - yCord) * 0.02); robot.mouseMove(mouseX, mouseY); buttonOld = button; System.out.println(xCord + ":" + yCord + ":" + button + ":" + mouseX + ":" + mouseY); return; } }

Step 5: Troubleshooting

Getting the Java program to work may be difficult. I've got some tips if you're stuck:

-Change the "Com4" string in the PORT_NAMES[] to the port your arduino Uno is connected to. (I changed to Com4 from the default Com3 in my Java program)

-Comment out the line relating to Raspberry Pi (if you copied my program, I already did this)

-Click "Rebuild Package" or your IDEs equivalent

-Reset the Java Virtual Machine in your IDE. Maybe even reset the program before using the mouse the first time.

Step 6: Conclusion

I hope this project works for you and that you can improve upon it. Ultimately, the easiest solution is to use an Arduino Leonard or Mini that can function as a system device for mouse inputs, but I found it fun to make the Uno function in a way it was not designed--a mouse--by using my limited Java knowledge.

I learned a lot alone the way and hope to add several features in the future:

-Right Click button. The joystick has one button which I reserved for the left click.

-Real device driver for this project. I'm not sure if this is possible, maybe someone can enlighten me on the subject!

Thanks for reading!

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    49 Discussions


    Question 3 months ago

    I have finished the Java and Arduino Programs, but somethings not working. I've checked the serial monitor and it is outputting the correct data, but it seems that the java program isn't picking it up. I've created my JAR file and everything. Please help.


    Question 6 months ago on Step 6

    You did a great job.
    I want to do quite the same with a useless raspberry pi.
    I want to make a minecraft gaming station and use two ps2 joysticks :
    one for arrows and another for mouse view.
    For the action buttons, i'll make a ATMEGA328p standalone board with V-USB library recognised as a HID keyboard which send keyboard shortcuts while key pressed.
    For the mouse view, i'd like to use your methode but my 2nd standalone chip will be connected on raspberry GPIO by I2C or serial (whatever). I would like to have your advices for this. I can also use the same library (V-USB) and it will be recognize as a HID mouse by the raspberry.


    Question 1 year ago

    Im still having a bit of trouble running the program How do you run it in Blue J I am on the final stage and are getting these errors

    java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: gnu.io.RXTXCommDriver thrown while loading gnu.io.RXTXCommDriver

    java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: no rxtxSerial in java.library.path

    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadLibrary(ClassLoader.java:1867)

    at java.lang.Runtime.loadLibrary0(Runtime.java:870)

    at java.lang.System.loadLibrary(System.java:1122)

    at gnu.io.CommPortIdentifier.<clinit>(CommPortIdentifier.java:126)

    at Mouse.initialize(Mouse.java:41)

    at Mouse.main(Mouse.java:103)

    4 answers

    Answer 1 year ago

    I had the same problem, here's what I did to make it work. I am on MacOS.

    I think the reason is because BlueJ is unable to find the two Java library files required for the code to work, "RXTXcomm.jar" and "librxtxSerial.jnilib". You can get the 2 files from (http://rxtx.qbang.org/wiki/index.php/Download). I downloaded binary "rxtx 2.2pre2 (prerelease)" because I was faced with RXTXcom files mismatched, which requires both your Arduino and Java IDE (BlueJ) having the same version (2.2) of RXTX. Now, you have to move the 2 files into your Java directory (which is hidden by default, can be open with Terminal by the following code).

    cd /Library/Java/
    open .

    Move the 2 files into the Extension folder. (Admin password will be required)

    Next, make sure you have directed BlueJ towards 2 libraries, RXTXcom.jar (which is the one you just installed in the Java directory) and the jna-3.2.7-sources.zip (from the tutorial above). You do so by -> BlueJ -> Preferences -> Library -> add files. Now BlueJ should know where to find those correct 2 libraries for the code to work. Restart BlueJ, compile the code, and right click on the "mouse" module -> void main (string[] args) -> "OK". It should work by now. Good luck! (took me 8 hours to figure this all out!)

    Now, i'm off to try to make this work on Processing...


    Reply 1 year ago

    Thx I haven't Tried yet but It looks like it should work Thx again for your help


    Answer 10 months ago

    It looks like you might not have installed the libraries I included in the instructions. RxTx class is contained in one of the files so your IDE should find them if you import the libraries.

    Asher Lego Films

    Question 1 year ago

    Hi, it doesn't work in eclipse ide... will you help me?

    here is the console log

    Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: SerialPortEvent

    at java.lang.Class.getDeclaredMethods0(Native Method)

    at java.lang.Class.privateGetDeclaredMethods(Unknown Source)

    at java.lang.Class.privateGetMethodRecursive(Unknown Source)

    at java.lang.Class.getMethod0(Unknown Source)

    at java.lang.Class.getMethod(Unknown Source)

    at sun.launcher.LauncherHelper.validateMainClass(Unknown Source)

    at sun.launcher.LauncherHelper.checkAndLoadMain(Unknown Source)

    Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: SerialPortEvent

    at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(Unknown Source)

    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)

    at sun.misc.Launcher$AppClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)

    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(Unknown Source)

    ... 7 more

    I am not very good at java (or using eclipse) so I don;t really know what to do

    2 answers
    SyntaxianAsher Lego Films

    Answer 10 months ago

    I would recommend checking to see if the libraries are correctly added to your IDE and also I would check to see whether the Arduino is connected to the same serial port on your computer as mine. Your computer will likely have different options to see the Arduino, perhaps COM3 or COM4 or something like that. If you can figure out which one it is and change the code if necessary that could help.


    2 years ago

    its posible to do this movements automatic without joystick? anyone can respone please i need this for a important project thanks

    1 reply

    Reply 10 months ago

    Yes this should be possible using Java and adding your own control for the mouse movement. Beware, you could get yourself in a pickle if you cannot control your mouse, so you should add a kill button to regain control of your mouse.


    Question 1 year ago

    this isn't working.

    How do I install the libraries on my Mac?

    (High Seirra)

    1 answer

    Answer 10 months ago

    BlueJ should work on Mac and operate in the usual way for installing libraries, from Viraj on StackOverflow: "Go to Tools -> Preferences -> Libraries -> Add file
    Press OK and restart BlueJ you can now see that library is loaded."


    11 months ago

    Thanks a lot for the help Syntaxian. I'll continue developing.

    1 reply

    Question 10 months ago

    how can i use mpu6050 instead of analog stick?

    1 answer

    Answer 10 months ago

    I believe this is theoretically very possible. If I can acquire an MPU-6050 at a good price I would consider making another guide for that specifically. Also I would probably update the project to run through an executable file for those who don't want to deal with compiling in an IDE.