Feasibility of making a mouse with an Arduino?

I am looking into using an Arduino to make a left-handed mouse.

The only hardware experience I have really is Lego Mindstorms, but I want to learn. And as a left-handed gamer, this seemed like a good place to start.
I would like to know if:
a) it would be possible to attach this high-end optical sensor (http://www.avagotech.com/pages/en/navigation_interface_devices/navigation_sensors/laserstream/adns-9800/) to an arduino, and read from it and write to it to get the full functionality of it.

b) If an Arduino would be able to use the sensor to it's full potential.

Any other tips you have would also be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for your help!

darn sight cheaper to use a mouse!

I agree with the "mouse is cheaper" comment.

Also, you haven't said what "your" mouse will be connected to. Do you know how the information is sent from a typical mouse? I don't and I suspect it's not trivial.

...R

Use one of these sorts of Arduino and you are half way there.

Presumably you aren't going to have a bare PCB sitting on your desk and use that as a mouse. What are you going to use as the body and motion sensing part of the mouse? Given that the only practical source I can envisage for either of these is a standard mouse, I can't imagine how your Arduino based mouse is going to provide any improvement over the standard mouse that you'd be cannibalizing to make it.

KnilAdlez:
I am looking into using an Arduino to make a left-handed mouse.

All mouses (mice?) are ambidextrous. You just need to change the mouse settings in your operating system.

It is possible to make your own mouse with Arduino code. I recently completed the build of a new trackball, but it could have been a mouse just as easily. I used Arduino to code the software and I’m running that code on a Teensy 2.0 from PJRC.com, an Arduino clone with a few twists of its own. I’m using the Teensy primarily since it will emulate a keyboard and mouse with no effort required. It is also very small, so it fits up inside the body of the device very easily.

I’m using an ADNS-9800 laser optical sensor. I did have to build my own circuit board for it, so that can be a bit of a challenge. It interfaces over SPI and the Arduino SPI library works just fine with it. My biggest challenge with using the ADNS-9800 is that I only have a few samples to work from. I cannot buy them in small quantities from any distributor. The factory (Pixart) sells them in quantities of 1,000 or more at a time. I really wish I could find a source for buying just a few at a time and I would offer to sell the circuit board design for folks like you who want to make your own mouse, trackball or robot.

Mrjohnk:
I recently completed the build of a new trackball ...

What drove your decision to make rather than buy? As an academic exercise I can see the point, but if the objective is to end up with a working mouse/trackball then I would have thought that buying one was a no-brainer in terms of cost, ergonomics, reliability, function. Even if there was some aspect of the mouse/trackball that you wanted to change, it's hard to see why you would start from scratch rather than from an existing working product.

Are you still Interested in this?

Henry_Best:
All mouses (mice?) are ambidextrous. You just need to change the mouse settings in your operating system.

Hey, that would work!

Just been to the markets today, got there later than I perhaps would have liked.

Found the right power supply for my JY-MCU 3208Clock Pro - for $3 at last - and the plug was the right size. So I bought three. Can buy another couple of JY-MCU 3208Clock Pros now!

Same seller (as well as all the shirts and trousers and some handbags, boxes of wood screws etc.) had a bin of (used) mice, but apologised as by the time I got to it - on the way out - there were only a couple of dozen PS/2 mice. Proper laser mice, but PS/2. $1 each. Don't need any more PS/2 but like to have spare USB mice.

I was about to say, you could always cut a couple of tracks on the board and cross wire the micro-switches.

PeterH:
What drove your decision to make rather than buy? As an academic exercise I can see the point, but if the objective is to end up with a working mouse/trackball then I would have thought that buying one was a no-brainer in terms of cost, ergonomics, reliability, function. Even if there was some aspect of the mouse/trackball that you wanted to change, it's hard to see why you would start from scratch rather than from an existing working product.

I'm looking to do just this sort of thing myself, because the Kensington Turbo Pro trackball is no longer made, but could have been an industry standard if Kensington hadn't killed it off in favor of ridiculous little desktop fashion toys that cost $100+.
My idea is to create a design workstation that includes a trackball that's essentially a billiard ball using a laser sensor, with a weighted scroll turntable and programmable macro buttons.
Basically it could be used as a single-handed Photoshop or Sketchup design device, the way the old mouse almost was, without the issues of rollers plugging up with lint, ps/2 connection or driver installer with ludicrous limitations (Windows XP was the last OS the installer would work with, and that the drivers would run on without crashing at random).

Necrothread! Anyway....

Google "V-USB mouse" and you'll find plenty of examples.

Basically this always raises the question - why re-invent the wheel other than for personal gratification?

Unless there is any reason to alter the electrical and firmware functionality, you just buy a cheap mouse and use the PCB including the sensor and cable, re-wiring the switches to your new requirement.

For a trackball, mount the optical sensor directly under the ball. You will need to rotate it 180°.