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This ‘computer mouse’ sets the new size standard for portable computing

The "Computer" Mouse: A DIY Project

You probably have a mouse for your computer, but do you have a computer mouse? One enterprising bedroom hardware hacker has managed to fit an entire laptop’s worth of components inside a mouse and has given it its own display. It’s a rather chunky device which wouldn’t pass muster in your average esports arena, but it’s an impressive feat of engineering nonetheless.

The mouse was created by YouTuber Electronic Grenade and is made from a 3D-printed mouse shell fitted around a Raspberry Pi Zero W. It’s connected to a 1.5-inch color OLED LCD display, a 500 mah battery, and all of the sensors and buttons you need to operate a standard two button mouse with scroll wheel. Better yet, it even has a pop-out miniature Bluetooth keyboard for text inputs and more complicated commands.

The micro-computer inside the mouse isn’t particularly capable, but can run basic text editing applications and apparently, when it’s feeling particularly good, Minecraft Pi Edition. Nothing about the project is practical, with typing and general icon selection hindered by the awkward position of the keyboard and the fact that the screen moves with the mouse. Not to mention its miniature form.

What’s impressive about the project, though, is that it does any of that at all. It’s entirely self-contained and is the smallest computing project that incorporates a full-size (or rather, a super-sized) mouse into the design we’ve ever come across.

This isn’t the first DIY project that Electronic Grenade has made, though. Previous home builds include turning an Xbox 360 into a stand-alone retro games console and a Raspberry Pi tablet. You may have stumbled across their videos in the past, though, through the vastly more popular project of turning a number of old CD-Rom drives into a DIY 3D printer.

But Electronic Grenade isn’t the only one who has made cool stuff out of Raspberry Pis and some ingenuity. There is a whole host of clever DIY builders and developers out there making exciting projects. Here’s our roundup of the best of them. If you’re wondering why they all use that particular micro-computer, here’s our look back on what made the Pi such a powerhouse despite its diminutive size.

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Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
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