Aug 2, 2009
Two students from a technical high school in Argentina built a mouse that can be controlled by eye movements, thus allowing people with total paralysis to use the computer.
The invention is named the "Eye Mouse." This idea is not new but what makes it different is that it is a DIY mouse that almost anyone can build with cheap and easy-to-find components.
How does it work? The free software that they provide, divides the monitor surface in squares and asks the user what he wants to do – focus on an area, right click, left click, etc – with yes and no answers. If the eye looks at the camera, that is translated as a "yes".
With just a webcam, an infrared LED, a small, flexible metal tube and the headband of a welding helmet, anyone can build the mouse at a fraction of the cost of similar devices.
The students wanted to make the Eye Mouse available to everyone, so the software is free. They have published step-by-step instructions on how to build the mouse, originally in Spanish but they have already been translated to English.