Mouse based motor control, would you buy?

As part of my $500 robot project, as I've posted here before, I'm using a mouse as part of the motor control interface. When you think of it, a mouse is almost perfect for this application. It containes all the hardware to interface the encoders to the computers and it follows a fairly well documented protocol.

Well, I was thinking, and what do you think of this: Using a USB\PS/2 mouse controller with scroll and three button inputs as a three axis generic encoder interface board. Depending on the software options, you could use the three buttons as zero marks for full X/Y/Z motion. You could use the PS/2 port or USB port. The whole thing could be built for a unit cost of about $3.00 (in moderate quantities).

Anyone think there is a viable market? If you're curious google for an "HT82M98A" controller. About a buck each in a quantity of a thousand.

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The market is so diverse, I'm not sure anyone really is, so you're opinion is about as valid as anyone elses.

The $3.00 unit cost is a buck for the chip, estimate $1.00 additional parts plus PC board, and estimate $1.00 assembly. It may be $4.00 if some of those things are off too much, but I don't see how. Hell, if it is "too" expensive to build it, you could buy mice OEM and dissect them.

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I'm not sure I see the utility of just being able to read encoders and deriving encoder distance travelled. I'd guess most potential buyers would be looking for more in a motion control product, but I'm no expert on the market.

Personally, I do the same thing already on a single board for two motors with encoders. But I also have on the same board speed control, odometery, and a series of commands that let me turn to a relative or absolute angle, travel specific distances, and more, all with an i2c interface, but it could be motified for rs-232, 485 or whatever fairly simply. Required part count:1 plus a resistor, a bypass cap, a ceramic oscillator and connectors. Cost (parts only) about $9.00 in single unit quantities, but that could be dropped down to 3 bucks or so (I'm guessing) by using a different, OTP, microcontroller. The external oscillator could also be dropped. The only bit that's missing is USB support.

Are you factoring in labor costs for this?

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The Artist Formerly Known as K

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