Technologies on Display

G1 - Micro Input Devices System

A novel input and sensing system - Micro Input Devices System (MIDS) - is under development by merging MEMS sensors and existing wireless technologies. This system can potentially replace the mouse, keyboard, and light-pen as a multi-functional and wearable input devices system to the computer. Moreover, this system can also be used as a general wireless 3D motion sensing and control input device for robotic systems. In this IT Fair, we will present our work on using MIDS for three applications: computer input device with virtual mouse function, motion sensing device, and robot control device.


  • Piano player can use the MIDS to play a virtual piano. Their piano keyboard input patterns can be transferred to the computer, which could translate and record a song or play it on the speakers directly.
  • Users can use the MIDS to interface with a PC using conventional sign-language gestures, i.e., a user can just use sign-language motions and the computer can translate the motions into sentences without any typing from the fingers.
  • One of the more meaningful applications for the MIDS will be its usefulness to help the blind. MIDS can help them make brail-based typing by using different finger motion patterns. When the finger motion patterns are transferred to the computer, the computer can translate those patterns to words and then save them as a document.
  • Other applications for the MIDS will include emulation of a laser-pointer, and as a light pen for handwriting input such as the Chinese characters and symbolic characters.
  • The system could also be used as a general wireless 3D motion sensing device which could eventually produce a new control-input device for robotic grasping manipulators.
  • One interesting application is game controller. MIDS could be used to capture human motion. It can apply on computer games (such as sportsˇ¦ games, fighting games and other action games) such that MIDS is used to control virtual objects like computer animation characters.
  • MIDS could apply on real systems (such as toys). For instance, user can control a robot fighter to fight with othersˇ¦ robot and no need to hit each other directly. MIDS could be added more feedback functions (such as force feedback) and Internet function so that users can play this online game in their home and enjoy the real feeling games.

Micro Input Devices System (MIDS) is made by merging MEMS sensors and existing wireless technologies. It consists of sensor modules, a controller, and software and hardware interface. The three-dimensional acceleration sensing module is placed on the target position (such as the human fingertip and arm; robotic finger and joints; etc) in order to measure the linear motion and angular motion. This invention includes the motion and angle to command conversion algorithm, which can convert the motions of user to control/input commands. Therefore, MIDS could be used as a generalized wireless distributed sensing system and control input device for real and virtual systems.


Principal Investigator
Prof. W.J. Li
Department of Automation and Computer-Aided Engineering
Prof. Philip Leong
Department of Computer Science and Engineering