“I made a Bluetooth trackball in which all the electronics are inside the ball. The ball is the entire trackball. Here it is in action:
Inside the ball there’s a microcontroller and a set of sensors that together with some clever algorithms allow the microcontroller to know the ball’s absolute orientation in 3D. When the ball is rotated, it sends the appropriate commands to the computer over Bluetooth to move the mouse cursor. Oh, and the keyboard in the video is a completely separate USB device, it’s only used for mouse clicks and doesn’t interact with the ball in any way.
This is actually the second iteration of the project. While I was very proud of my previous attempt, it had some undeniable shortcomings and was generally a proof-of-concept quality device. This new version improves upon it in many regards, to the point where I think it could possibly be used on a day to day basis as a replacement for your regular mouse. Specific features include:
- an nRF52840 chip along with LSM6DS33 accelerometer/gyroscope and LIS3MDL magnetometer
- a wirelessly rechargeable 500 mAh battery
- battery level reporting over Bluetooth
- more robust “up” calibration
- fully sealed construction allowing for smooth rolling of the ball”