How Is a Computer Mouse Made?

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An optical computer mouse is made with a laser that beams out of the mouse, reflects off the surface beneath it and bounces back to a sensor inside of the mouse. Find out how an older style computer mouse uses a ball that is connected to a wheel and sensor with information from a software developer in this free video on computer mouses.

Part of the Video Series: Computers Tips & Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi my name is Dave Andrews and today I want to talk to you a little bit about how computer mouses are made. Now I have a mouse here that is an optical mouse and the way that you can tell quickest about whether a mouse is an optical mouse or a mechanical mouse is if it has a little red laser light down here at the bottom. Now an optical mouse will use basically a very reflective surface and a sensor and a laser. Now this laser will beam down out this mouse and whatever surface is beneath it it will bounce off of into basically a sensor that is inside of that mouse. Now that will detect little ridges and crevices on the surface even on this flat table there are tiny little ridges and it will be able to compare the ridges that it saw the previous time that it shot the laser out to the time it is now and that will basically tell the mouse how it is moving around on the table by comparing the position of those ridges that it notices. That is how an optical mouse is made. There is an older style mouse which is a ball mouse and I have a diagram of one here. A ball mouse inside basically has this little ball right here and you can tell if you pick it up and look at the bottom you will see the ball protruding out of the bottom. Now that ball will roll as you move the mouse around and inside of the mouse you have little access wheels right here. There are two of them and they are actually connected to that ball just basically rubbing up against it and as that ball turns it will also turn these wheels that are attached to it. Now those wheels turn sensors at the very end of here that detect how the wheel is turning and then that way the mouse knows which direction the little ball is turning and it will transmit that information through the cable into the computer. My name is Dave Andrews and I have just told you a little bit about how computer mouses are made.

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