The DIY Eye Mouse is a mouse that can be controlled by eye movements, allowing people with total paralysis the ability to use the computer. This DIY mouse is relatively easy to build and with cheap and easy-to-find components. The Eye Mouse operates using free software which divides the monitor surface into squares, asking what the user wants “to do”, the user focuses on an area for right and left clicking with yes and no answers. If the eye looks at the camera, that is translated as a “yes”. Here are the step-by-step instructions to build your own “Eye Mouse”:
1. Download the free software and run the installation process, but DO NOT execute the program until the web cam is installed in the machine.
2. Get a web cam, if possible small and light and without infrared filter (if it has one, it can normally be removed by unscrewing the frontal panel of the web cam lens).
3. Build something that will allow the webcam to be attached to the head and facing the eyes. In the example the following was used: the headband of a welding helmet (removing the mask); and a small, flexible metal tube that was screw to the helmet and that holds the web cam in way that can be adjusted to the height needed, so the web cam can point to the person's eye.
4. With infrared LEDs build something similar to a lantern, to be held with the web cam but lightening he eye. The infrared light is not visible for the human eye, but it is visible for the web cam).
5. Install the web cam, if required run the driver provided by the web cam's manufacturer. Finally, execute the Eye Mouse software.