I'm a Scrum Master/DevOps coach. At my last few customers, I have sometimes used an AutoItScript oneliner which simply instructed Windows to move my mouse pointer left and right every few seconds in an infinite loop. This keeps my machine busy, Windows unlocked, and my MS Teams status set to "Available" forever. I use it as a conversation starter about metrics for quality and productivity.
Well, my current customer environment requires very secure laptops, where we can't play around like that any more. So, looking at my old "Useless Box" (example on youtube), I'm trying to come up with an extremely simple hardware device to move the mouse back and forth every few seconds, that even hardware klutzes like me could build.
I came up with the following acceptance criteria:
- It looks kinda crude and slapped together (intentionally)
- It moves a PC mouse about 1cm to the left and then back to the right
- It is not much larger than a mouse (e.g. max 15x20 cm)
- It uses simple, cheap, easy to buy or build elements, e.g. a rubber band, a piece of rope, a shoelace, some glue or staples, small wooden blocks or lego bricks... You get the idea.
- It can repeat the cycle as long as you want
- It is somewhat durable (e.g. you can pick it up, shove it around a bit, put it in a laptop bag...)
I have some Arduino experience, but mostly with sensor reading, led strip control etc.. I have never done anything with motors, but I have a few of those simple stepper motors from an old Arduino car project, I'm sure I can google together ways to actually get it to work (or get back here with further questions). So I'm more looking for thoughts on the construction itself. I'm more of a software guy
TLDR: What would be interesting hardware constructions to motorically jiggle a PC mouse in an infinite loop? Think "useless box", that level of looking intentionally and obviously redundant.