The Bean : an innovative computer mouse
The Bean : an innovative computer mouse
The Bean is an ergonomic, functional and portable computer mouse that may definitely solve the mouse related problems. Mac, Windows...
The Bean is an ergonomic, functional and portable computer mouse that may definitely solve the mouse related problems. Mac, Windows... Read more
sous-titre français: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPX6nBezAKM
Real life tests
This is the result on CS!
And here is a small accuracy test game! (and another way to hold the bean..)
Planting the seed
It all started while we were talking about the evolution of 3D printing and its future aspects and using computers to finish a coursework at the university library. At some point, we started complaining about the mice we're using and how the computer mouse kept practically the same shape since it was invented even tough the technology has evolved.
And basically, that was it! An idea in the air… but only for a couple days.
Trying to put to practice some concepts of design-thinking and creative confidence we started imagining and sketching what a computer mouse could possibly look like in another world where it didn't exist yet...
After checking that the electronics won't be a problem as far as size is concerned, since most of the inside volume of a computer mouse is empty, we focused on the ergonomics of our innovative computer mouse design.
The starting point was to observe the natural shape that our hands and fingers tends to take when at rest...
And come up with something as close as possible without loosing any functionality, since being mechanical engineers we use CAD softwares for a lot of tasks and we definitely need all the 3 buttons of a mouse and the scroll feature (That is the major problem with trackpads and "alternative " mice)... we finally got both more functionalities and better ergonomics!
The final product will be much lower and the touch surface replacing the scroll wheel and middle clic will add confort and ease of use.
As part of a thinking group about rapid manufacturing (3D printing) at our University, we discussed our project with our colleagues and supervisors who were glad to contribute to the designing process. We were all amazed how fast a need could turn to a viable product, with some knowledge in design software coupled with 3D printing we could quickly produce a proof of concept and iterate the innovation process in no time until having a working prototype that satisfies the minimum requirements . At this point we decided, in collaboration with Dr. Regina Frei , that a part of this project would be to write a scientific article about how the use of 3D printing and crowd funding combined with the Lean-Startup principles could facilitate the development of new products in general and the emergence of start-ups outside of the digital world.
Now it has to blossom
As you saw in the video, we have currently a working prototype, using USB technology and a scroll wheel. However, we do not want to stop here, and that’s why we need your help.
We would like to replace the scroll wheel and the middle clic with a capacitive touch sensor which will allow the scrolling and the middle clic only by sweeping your thumb on the surface or tapping on it. We also want to provide a wireless computer mouse the "WBean" so you can choose between USB and wireless technology. That means a more complex circuit board for us, but no wires messing around for you!
By pledging today, you will help us:
- Finish the device design
- Integrate the touch sensor and the wireless to the electronics
- Source the materials, packaging…
- Launch the production
- CE marking
What has been done so far ?
First of all we succeeded in having a working prototype. As explained in the presentation video, we used 3D printers, both personal (thank you Koen!) and from our university, to make the PLA/ABS shell. For the board, we studied several existing ones and designed our own PCB following the shape of The Bean. Again, we used the facilities of our university to machine it. We soldered the components in place and it worked (fortunately)!
We are already in contact with several suppliers for plastic parts, and the electronics, and made sure that the funding goal will provide the necessary funds to launch the production.
What are the next steps ?
The very next step is finalizing the design to add the touch surface and the wireless transmission to the circuit board. As we are mechanical engineers, we will need some external help for the electronics, and that is how we will first use the funds. We will then make the prototypes and test them in real life conditions and after an iteration send the Beta versions to the first users ever (apart from ourselves of course...).
As we want The Bean to definitely replace the standard mouse you have at home, we want users feedback before sending the final product. And some of you will be our beta testers and their feedback will be the final touch to The Bean, they will of course receive the final product as well. For more details check our awesome rewards and be the first to back us!!
A survey will be set up for beta testers to choose which leather case design they prefer.
*The rewards are not an indicator of the futur public retail price that will incorporate more costs.
Left handed version
The left handed version will be developed and made available if we reach a funding goal of 18,000£.
Who are we?
Alexis Arous : Mechanical engineer from the National School of Engineering of Saint-Etienne (France), Msc Advanced Manufacturing Technology at the university of Portsmouth. Previous experience in production and quality control at Aperam France (Arcelormittal subsidiary). Interested in everything related to additive manufacturing, and likes good old-fashioned rock'n'roll songs!
Aymane Laslami: Also mechanical engineer from the National School of Engineering of Saint-Etienne (France), Msc Advanced Manufacturing Technology at the university of Portsmouth. Previous experience in production management at AVN France as well as in R&D for SANDVIK Sweden. Passionate in what he's doing and enjoys horse-riding whenever possible!
Regina Frei: Currently a lecturer in manufacturing engineering and supply chain management at the University of Portsmouth. She holds a PhD in distributed robotics from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal, and an MSc in micro-engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. She did her MSc thesis at KTH Stockholm, Sweden. Her research interests include additive manufacturing as well as self-organisation and self-healing. Her voice is much more pleasant in reality!
Risks and challenges
As it is a new manufactured product, the main risk in this project is the delay that may occur from suppliers. But being mechanical engineers specialized in production management it is fortunately our working field and having 1 year of professional experience each can also be helpful. We can also count on a strong support from a team of colleagues and professors as well as the enterprise department of our university to overcome possible problems. We also announced confortable delivery dates that we are determined to hold. Nonetheless we will keep you updated as much as necessary and at least once a fortnight!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)