WO2012022764A1 - Data recording device in the form of an arrangement for entering position or motion parameters - Google Patents

Data recording device in the form of an arrangement for entering position or motion parameters Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2012022764A1
WO2012022764A1 PCT/EP2011/064145 EP2011064145W WO2012022764A1 WO 2012022764 A1 WO2012022764 A1 WO 2012022764A1 EP 2011064145 W EP2011064145 W EP 2011064145W WO 2012022764 A1 WO2012022764 A1 WO 2012022764A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
ball
trackball
mounting
spring
housing
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2011/064145
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Valentin Heun
Johannes Hafner
Jan Hochstrate
Original Assignee
Valentin Heun
Johannes Hafner
Jan Hochstrate
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to DE201010034898 priority Critical patent/DE102010034898A1/en
Priority to DE102010034898.8 priority
Application filed by Valentin Heun, Johannes Hafner, Jan Hochstrate filed Critical Valentin Heun
Publication of WO2012022764A1 publication Critical patent/WO2012022764A1/en

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F3/00Input arrangements for transferring data to be processed into a form capable of being handled by the computer; Output arrangements for transferring data from processing unit to output unit, e.g. interface arrangements
    • G06F3/01Input arrangements or combined input and output arrangements for interaction between user and computer
    • G06F3/03Arrangements for converting the position or the displacement of a member into a coded form
    • G06F3/033Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor
    • G06F3/0354Pointing devices displaced or positioned by the user, e.g. mice, trackballs, pens or joysticks; Accessories therefor with detection of 2D relative movements between the device, or an operating part thereof, and a plane or surface, e.g. 2D mice, trackballs, pens or pucks
    • G06F3/03549Trackballs

Abstract

Data recording device for input of position or motion parameters. The invention provides a technical solution which enables an undisturbed uniform suspension of a trackball and allows optimal, unlimited rotation of the trackball around three axes by the human hand. This is achieved by an arrangement containing a trackball (9), optical sensors, at least one measurement magnet (10) and a support unit in the form of a casing (13), in which the trackball (9) is mounted so it can rotate around at least one axis, and its rotational positions are captured by the optical sensors and the measuring magnets, the housing (13) contains three spring body mounts (1), each of these forming a mount for an elastic spring body (3, which is connected with the ball-mounting (14), whereat the ball-mounting (14) contains recesses (6) for the optical sensors and a mount (7) for the measurement magnet (10) and holds the trackball (9) with four bearing points (5).

Description

Description FIELD OF THE INVENTION
[001] The present invention relates to a data recording device for quantifying rotational or translational parameters, in particular for detecting changes in multi-dimensional coordinates of three-dimensional objects. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
[002] Three-dimensional spaces play an important role in visual data processing. Navigating, controlling and manipulating those spaces in a sufficiently intuitive manner cannot be achieved using a commonly known computer mouse. [003] For this purpose so-called 3D-mice have proven themselves as particularly advantageous input devices. Such 3D-mice are also called devices with 6 degrees of freedom. This means that three degrees of freedom can be controlled to rotate and three to translate.
[004] DE 103 33 178 Al discloses an input device designed to enter position or motion parameters, especially to control three-dimensional objects, by the means of a trackball in a support unit, which enables rotation around a minimum of one axis and has sensors attached, which determine the rotational positions of the trackball. As a result this input device makes translational and rotational input options possible for an unlimited input range. [005] According to DE 103 33 178 Al, a trackball is thus supported in a pickup element, so the trackball protrudes above and below of the pickup element as well as the complete system and the pickup element is elastically connected with the fixing elements of the support unit, wherein the pickup element is coupled with a minimum of one force- or distance sensor, which determines the force applied to the pickup element and/or the shift of the pickup element relative to a starting position. [006] The arrangement according to DE 103 33 178 Al has the disadvantage that the ball protrudes the arrangement in two points, so the human hand can only execute rotations with a low angle during the operation of the arrangement.
[007] Furthermore, the arrangement according to DE 103 33 178 Al has the disadvantage that only two rotation axes can be rotated accordingly, and because of the bracket enclosing the ball it is difficult to mechanically operate a third axis. In other words, the human hand bumps into the housing enclosing the ball very often while operating this system generating errors when performing translation.
[008] WO 2005/010742 Al discloses an improvement over DE 103 33 178 Al, with a technical solution in which the spatial movement of a supporting structure is carried out relative to a housing, a ball is suspended in this supporting structure, which can be rotated absolute to the a virtual rotation as a control unit, as well as the movement of a control unit in space, and a rotation accelerated proportional to the tilt in three axes.
[009] EP 0 477 098 A2 discloses a cursor displacement control device for a computer display, wherein the control device is contained within a computer and includes a support, a manually movable actuating member movable supported by the support and a magnetic reluctance type detector for detecting a magnitude of movement oft the movable actuating member within a unit of time. It is not possible to use the disclosed device to quantify changes in three independent degrees of freedom. [0010] US 6,809,722 B2 discloses a handheld mobile mouse, which is contained in a mini hand-held shaped housing to be held in the palm of a user with a sphere arranged on the top easily and naturally reached by a thumb. The disclosed device does not provide a trackball, which can be touched with at least two fingers at opposite sides respectively on a fictitious equator.
[0011] The technical solutions according to WO 2005/010742 Al, U.S. 5,565,891, U.S. 2002/0018582 Al and U.S. 4,952,919 do not solve the suspension of a ball and the simultaneous measurement of the ball-mounting proportional to the housing optimally. With these solutions the hand bumps into a portion of the ball-mounting when it is rotating the ball, respectively, due to its asymmetrical supporting points, the ball housing must be anchored in the housing in a way to exclude inadvertent rotation of the ball-mounting. [0012] All these factors contribute to the circumstance that either the ball-mounting cannot be moved in the desired manner, or one cannot rotate the ball in an adequately free manner.
[0013] U.S. 5,589,828 discloses a ball like body embraceable by the hand, whereby it is not a ball, but a not completely free rotating spherical body, which has an anchor point.
[0014] This anchor has the disadvantage of the rotation of the appliance being limited and allowing only an accelerated rotation proportional to the tilt of the ball, a proportional, unlimited rotation however is not possible. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
[0015] The present invention provides a data recording device for quantifying rotational and/or translational parameters comprising a trackball which is freely rotatable mounted via at least four supporting points in a ball mounting, wherein each supporting point is positioned in a quarter of a circumference, wherein one half of the circumference has been rotated by 90 degrees with regard to the other half of the circumference and both halves of the circumference are connected via the center of the circumference, and a housing for the ball mounting, wherein the ball mounting is arranged via three connecting elements engaging in three elastic spring bodies within the housing, and at least one sensor system for quantifying changes in position or motion parameters.
[0016] It is intended that the connecting elements form the corners of an equilateral triangle, wherein the center of the triangle is also the center of the trackball.
[0017] Furthermore it is intended that at least two connecting elements are mechanically connected and engaging in at least one elastic spring body.
[0018] The trackball may have a surface structure that is detectable by optical sensors, wherein a sensor of the sensor system is at least one optical sensor and/or a electromagnetic wave sensor and/or ultrasonic sensor and/or at least three hall sensors or a combination of the different sensors. A measuring magnet from the ball mounting can be captured by Hall- sensors. [0019] It is intended that the ball mounting has at least one recess for an optical sensor. Furthermore the ball mounting comprises at least one mount for a measurement magnet.
[0020] The optical sensors can be used for determining rotational changes and a magnet and hall sensors may be used for determining translational changes.
[0021] The material of a spring-body has to be elastic and can be made of silicone, wherein the trackball shall be made from a hard material like very hard plastic.
[0022] For each supporting point it is intended that they comprises a sphere mounted in the connecting element, wherein the sphere of a supporting points is for instance made of metal.
[0023] The housing can comprise means for processing data and the spring bodies (3) can be fitted within mounts (1) of the housing. [0024] It is intended to use the data recording device in different applications. The data recording device may be a computer mouse and is suitable for the use of recording data to enter them in medical devices, data processing units or as game controller.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
[0025] The purpose of the present invention is to avoid the disadvantages of the prior art, by providing a technical solution which implements an undisturbed uniform suspension of a trackball and allows the trackball to be rotated by the human hand around three axes in an optimal, unlimited manner. [0026] The essence of the invention is to provide a novel ball-mounting for data recording devices, which is connected to a housing at 3 points, which guarantees an undisturbed uniform suspension in 3 axes and ensures optimal ball rotation around three axes performed by a human hand. With such a ball mounting, multi-dimensional coordinates can be captured intuitively and optimally.
[0027] The Possibility to grab the ball on its equator with the human hand, the ability to move it in every direction as well as any position with consistent suspension and free rotation at any moment are the basic conditions for the realization of an optimal ball-mounting.
[0028] According to the invention this is achieved by the suspension of the ball, which is identical and symmetrical in all directions, ensuring it does not rotate during its movement in space and that the sensor-system measuring the movement in space does not work mechanically.
[0029] The ball-mounting according to the invention ensures the suspension of the ball in three points, stabilizing the ball-mounting against rotation and allowing movement in all directions with equal spring force. To avoid a twist of the ball-mounting, it is arranged to the corners of an equilateral triangle, the center of the ball also forming the center of this triangle.
[0030] Since the power in three axes is distributed differently at the vertices of such a triangle, these vertices again have to be suspended in a special way. The spring force orthogonal to the triangle-area equals the sum of all three vertices, whereas the spring force in all directions parallel to the triangle-area is only two times one vertice.
[0031] According to the invention, the elastic body, which is placed at the three vertices of that equilateral triangle and is positioned orthogonal to the triangle centre, is shaped to achieve a spring force which is a third softer in the direction orthogonal to the triangle-area than in the direction parallel to the area.
[0032] These elastic spring-bodies may have different spring forces in themselves, by casting materials with different degrees of hardness or by using thicker material to achieve a softer spring force in the direction in which the softer spring force is required.
[0033] More material results in more flexibility, therefore a thicker elastic body equals a softer suspension. [0034] The use of silicone material is advantageous; it is shaped to always ensure uniform spring action in the arrangement described above. [0035] Spring-bodies made from coil springs could also be used, whereby one spring body has to consist of a minimum of four springs.
[0036] The ball mounted in the ball-mounting is made of very hard material that is scratch resistant and dimensionally stable, for example plastic. The ball has a surface structure that allows it to be easily detected by optical sensors.
[0037] In order to always return the ball-mounting back to its resting position, the spring body has to receive a minimal pressure by the volume used for suspension, in order to create a basic tension in the elastic material, which prevents the surface of the spring body from moving in the spring body mount. The basic tension also prevents the moving of the connection between the ball mounting and the spring body by which would result in deviation of the resting position.
[0038] If there were no basic tension, rotating translational movement of the ball mounting would push the spring body out of its mount, or the ball-mounting would slip back into the resting position very slowly due to a shifted ball-mounting.
[0039] The ball mounted in the ball-mounting must be held by at least four supporting points. The ball supporting points are made of very hard material such as metal and have the shape of a ball.
[0040] The positions of the supporting points have to be positioned on the ball in a certain ratio as follows: Divide a circumference into two halves and rotate one of the halves 90 degrees, so that both halves are aligned on their center-point to each other in a right angle, two of the at least four points are located on one side and the other two on the other half of the ball. [0041] Dividing the half circumferences in to quarter circumferences every quarter circumference must contain one bearing-point.
[0042] Grabbing a ball the appropriate size for the hand (I.e., touching its equator with the finger tips of the thumb, index finger, middle finger and ring finger), a large open space is formed below and above the hand, which is maintained even during the rotation of the ball. The equator is defined at a right angle to the thumb and index finger and also by the points of the fingertips. A simple rotation with your thumb and index finger along the axis of the forearm can hardly perform an angle beyond 90 degrees and therefore a line connecting the first two supporting points forms a right angle with the line between the holding points of the thumb and index finger positioned in their resting position.
[0043] Located at these positions, the supporting points never interfere with the rotation performed by hand.
[0044] If you execute a rotation with the hand along the lines of the thumb and index finger, the movement performed by the thumb or index finger transitions into a stretching movement along the ball. When performing this movement one never grabs behind the ball, because the fingers stretch during this movement. Because of this, the other two supporting points are arranged in a way so their position does not lie outside an imaginary cylinder with origin in the ball equator.
[0045] In order to perform rotation around a third axis, which is drawn along the line between index finger and thumb, the thumb rests in one position, while the index and middle fingers move in opposite directions. The two last named supporting points must have a position on the ball mounting that allows free space, thus not restricting this movement.
[0046] According to the invention the ball mounting is suspended in a casing by three spring bodies to ensure that the ball can be grabbed on its equator and can be moved in any direction at any position with a uniform suspension and is always allowed to rotate freely.
[0047] Furthermore, this guarantees the ball mounting is always parallel with the measurement sensors located in the housing. [0048] This ensures that both the rotation of the ball proportional to the housing can be measured accurately, and the displacement of the ball-mounting can be measured by appropriate sensors without divergence, since measurement errors that would occur with a twisted ball mounting are avoided.
[0049] According to the invention the measurement of the ball-mounting position in relation to the housing has to be implemented using non-contacting measurement technology. [0050] The use of an optical measurement system is advantageous, as well as the use of a measurement system consisting of at least three Hall-sensors, which are able to mathematically determine the position of a magnet attached to the ball-mounting.
[0051] Using at least two independent sensor systems, each consisting of at least three Hall- sensors which can detect the spatial positions of two differently positioned magnets placed on the corners of the ball-mounting, allows to also measure the tilt of the described ball- mounting.
[0052] This arrangement can be used to collect very accurate, error-free data concerning the rotation and translation of the ball, as well as to achieve two additional degrees of freedom.
[0053] By grabbing the ball with the thumb and index finger so the fingers also grab the ball-mounting, one is able to control the tilt of the ball-mounting along the axis of the hand as well as the axis that is formed between the fingertips of thumb and index finger. By doing so, eight degrees of freedom can be created, which allows one handed operation of machines with simultaneous camera and functional technology, previously requiring two hands for operation.
[0054] The advantage of this new ball mounting is that multi-dimensional coordinates can be measured in an intuitive and optimal manner, by utilizing a proportional, unlimited rotation of a ball. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0055] The invention will be explained in more detail with examples of the embodiment and drawings. These are:
Fig. 1: an exploded view of a first embodiment of the ball-mounting, the housing and sensor systems,
Fig. 2: a schematic representation of the ball according to Fig. 1 in relation to the spring bodies viewed from the front, this represents the shape of the elastic spring body,
Fig. 3: a schematic representation of the ball according to Fig. 1 in relation to the spring bodies viewed from the side, representing the shape of the elastic spring body, its location and the center of the Ball including the ball-mounting,
Fig. 4: a schematic representation of the supporting points according to Fig. 1, illustrating the exact positioning of the supporting points,
Fig. 5: a schematic representation of the ball according to Fig. 1 in the assembled ball
mounting viewed from the side,
Fig. 6: a schematic diagram of the ball according to Fig. 1 in the assembled ball-mounting viewed from the front and
Fig. 7: a perspective exploded view of a second embodiment of the ball mounting viewed from the side, with two Hall-sensor arrays and two magnets,
Fig. 8: a perspective view of an assembled first embodiment which shows the use by a hand,
Fig. 9: a sectional view of the first embodiment of the ball-mounting, the housing and sensor systems,
Fig. 10: a sectional view of a second embodiment of the ball-mounting, the housing and
sensor systems, Fig. 11: a sectional view of a third embodiment of the ball-mounting, the housing and sensor systems. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
[0056] Fig. 1 shows a data recording device implemented as an arrangement to enter position or motion parameters, including a trackball (9), optical sensors, a measurement magnet (10) and a support structure forming the casing (13), where the trackball(9) is mounted rotatable in the housing (13) with a minimum of one axis and its rotational positions determined by optical sensors as well as their translational motion determined by the measurement magnet, in which the housing (13) has three spring body mounts (1), each containing one elastic spring body (3 ), which are connected to the ball-mounting (14) using a brace (4). [0057] The ball-mounting (14) features recesses (6) for the optical sensors as well as a brace (7) for the measurement magnet (10) and mounts the trackball (9) with four supporting points (5).
[0058] The housing (13) and the ball-mounting (14) are advantageously each composed of two parts, whereby the spring body mount (1) is formed by the two parts of the housing (13) and one portion of the ball-mounting (14) contains three supporting points (5) whereby the other portion of the ball-mounting (14) contains one bearing-point (5).
[0059] The connection between the ball-mounting (14) and the housing (13) on three elastic points with spring-bodies (3) allows for interference-free uniform suspension of the trackball (9) using spring-bodies (3) in the direction of three axes (see Fig. 2) and ensures an optimum ball-rotation around the three axes when operated with a human hand. This ball-mounting (14) ensures that multi-dimensional coordinates can be captured in an intuitive and optimal way.
[0060] It is essential for the invention of an optimal ball-mounting (14) , to be able to grab the trackball (9) with the human hand and move it in all directions and to each position with a uniform suspension of the ball-mounting (14) within the housing (13) and the trackball always remaining freely rotatable.
[0061] The spring-bodies (3) fulfill the purpose of suspending the ball-mounting (14), in which the trackball (9) is mounted with the four supporting points (5) (see Fig 1), with identical and symmetrical force in all directions, so that the ball-mounting (14) is not twisted during the spatial movement of the trackball (15), and is essential for implementing sensor systems using optical sensors and a measurement magnet (10) combined with Hall-sensors (12), which in contrast to the subject according to DE 103 33 178 Al allows a non mechanical setup.
[0062] To make sure that the ball-mounting (14) is not twisted, according to the invention it is bedded in the three spring body mounts (1), which are arranged at the vertices of an (imaginary) equilateral triangle connected with the elastic spring body (3), wherein the center of the trackball (9) is also the center of this triangle (see Figure 3).
[0063] According to the invention, the elastic spring body (3), which is placed at the three vertices of an (imaginary) equilateral triangle facing the center of this triangle and the center of the trackball (9), is shaped accordingly to achieve a spring force one third softer orthogonal to the triangle area compared to the spring force parallel to the same area.
[0064] It is advantageous to make the elastic spring body (3) of elastomeric material such as silicone or rubber. Alternatively (but not shown) spring bodies can be constructed by using coil spring systems, whereby a spring body consists of at least four springs.
[0065] The ball-mounting (14) as described is moved according to the trackball while the trackball (9) is rotated around three axes and moved (9) in three axes, but never rotates with the trackball at any position or changes its parallel orientation relative to the housing (13).
[0066] The trackball (9) mounted in the ball-mounting (14) consists of very hard, scratch- resistant and shape stable material such as hard plastic. The trackball (9) has a surface structure which can be easily detected by optical sensors. The supporting points (5) of the trackball (9) are also made of a hard material such as metal and are formed in the shape of small balls. In order that the ball-mounting (14) can always return to its resting position, the elastic spring body (3) must receive a minimal pressure by the volume intended for suspension (implemented using the FIG 2 shows narrowing) so it creates a basic tension in the elastic material (silicon), thus preventing the surface of the spring body (3) from moving in the spring body mount (1). The basic tension also prevents the connection between the ball holder (14) and the spring body (3) from moving and deviation occurring in the resting position.
[0067] Without this tension, the spring body (3) would be pushed out of its mount (1) by rotating translation movements of the ball-mounting (14), this displaced position would result in the ball-mounting (14) returning back into the resting position too slowly.
[0068] According to the invention, the Trackball (9) mounted in the ball-mounting (14) must be held in the ball-mounting (14) by a minimum of four supporting points (5).
[0069] The positions of the supporting points (5) have to be positioned on the ball according to a certain ratio (see Figure 4) as described in the following:
[0070] Divide a circumference into two halves and rotate one of the halves 90 degrees, so that both halves are aligned in a right angle to each other on their center-point, then at least two of the four points are positioned on one side and the other two on the other half of the circumference. Divide the half circumferences again into quarter circumferences and every quarter circumferences must contain one bearing-point. [0071] Fig. 5 and 6 shows the trackball (9) in the assembled ball-mounting (14) with no housing in side- and front view. From the figures it is apparent that two of the supporting points never cross the equator of the trackball (9).
[0072] The ball-mounting (14) with its suspension consisting of the three elastic spring bodies (3), which themselves are stored in the spring body mounts (1) of the housing (13), allows that the trackball (9) can be grabbed at its equator by a human hand and can be moved in any direction to any position with a uniform suspension and can always be freely rotated. [0073] Furthermore, it is guaranteed that the ball-mounting (14) is always parallel to translational measurement sensors located in the housing (13).
[0074] This ensures that both the rotation of the trackball (9) proportional to the housing (13) in the ball-mounting (14), as well as the displacement of the ball-mounting (14) is measured accurately by appropriate sensors (measuring magnet 10 with Hall-sensors 12, illustrated in Fig. 1) and without bias, since measurement errors that would occur due to a twisted ball-mounting (14) are avoided. [0075] According to the invention the measurement of the trackball position (9) and the ball- mounting (14) in relation to the housing (13) is achieved using contact-less measuring technology [optical sensors in the recesses (6) of the ball-mounting (14) and measurement of the position of the measurement magnets (10) in the mounts (7) of the ball-mounting (14) using a sensor system of at least three Hall-sensors, see Fig. 1].
[0076] According to the invention Fig. 7 shows an arrangement with two measurement magnets (10). In this arrangement, at least two independent sensor systems consisting of at least three Hall-sensors (12), that can capture the spatial positions of two spatially separated magnets located on the corners of the ball holder (14), can also capture the tilt of the ball- mounting.
[0077] This can be used to capture complete error-free rotation-data of the ball and its translation-data, as well as generate two additional degrees of freedom. [0078] If one grabs the trackball (9) with the thumb and index finger, so the ball-mounting as well as the ball itself is grabbed, it is possible to get control of the tilt of the ball-mounting (14) along the hand axis and the axis between the thumb and index fingertip. By doing so, eight degrees of freedom can be created, which allows one handed operation of machines with simultaneous camera and functional technology, which previously required two hands.
[0079] The advantage of the ball-mounting is that multi-dimensional coordinates can be measured in an intuitive and optimal way, by implementing a proportional unlimited rotation with a ball. [0080] The advantage of the device according to the invention is that the trackball (9), which has an optimized size fitting the human hand, can perform free rotations around three axes when operated with the human hand, without the hand bumping to the ball-mounting (14).
[0081] The trackball (9) along with the ball-mounting (14) can be moved in all directions free of interferences and jerks in a three-dimensional coordinate system within the limits of the uniform elastic counter pressure of the spring-bodies (3). The rotation of the trackball (9) can be measured by optical sensors and the translation of the trackball, including the ball- mounting can be measured with Hall-magnetic-field-sensors or optical sensors.
[0082] All features shown in the description, the exemplary embodiment and the following claims, could be essential for the invention both individually and in any combination. [0083] Figure 8 shows the assembled embodiments described in Figure 1 and the trackball (9) of appropriate size for the hand as it is grabbed by the fingers of a hand (21) and it shows the large open space which is formed below and above the hand, which is maintained even during the rotation of the trackball (9). The equator (19) of the trackball (9) is defined at a right angle to the thumb and index finger and also by the points of the fingertips.
[0084] A simple rotation with your thumb and index finger along the axis of the forearm can hardly perform an angle beyond 90 degrees and therefore a line connecting the first two supporting points forms a right angle with the line between the holding points of the thumb and index finger positioned in their resting position.
[0085] Located at these positions, the supporting points never interfere with the rotation performed by hand.
[0086] If you execute a rotation with the hand (21) along the lines of the thumb and index finger, the movement performed by the thumb or index finger transitions into a stretching movement along the trackball (9). When performing this movement one never grabs behind the ball, because the fingers stretch during this movement. Because of this, the other two supporting points are arranged in a way so their position does not lie outside an imaginary cylinder with origin in the ball equator.
[0087] In order to perform rotation around a third axis, which is drawn along the line between index finger and thumb, the thumb rests in one position, while the index and middle fingers move in opposite directions. The two last named supporting points must have a position on the ball mounting that allows free space, thus not restricting this movement.
[0088] Figure 9 shows the assembled embodiments described in Figure 1, making apparent, that the spring-body mounts (1) hold the spring-bodies, which themselves hold the anchorages (4) and are put under tension by a constricting area, to assure the trackball (9), which is held in the ball-mount (14) by the bearing-points (5), is allowed to be moved freely and with consistent spring-force in all directions, which is essential to ensure the measurement of the trackballs through optical sensors, which are positioned in a 90° angle to each other in their cut-outs (6) and scan the trackballs (9) surface as well as the hall-sensors (12), which are mounted on a circuit-board (11) inside the casing (13) and measure the position of the magnet (10), which is mounted on the ball-mount (14).
[0089] The sensor-field (12) capable of measuring the magnets (7) position is defined by the hall-sensors (A B C and D) positioned at the corners of a rectangle, measuring the magnets position as follows: The output of the hal-sensors is converted into data, so the distance between the magnet and a hall-sensor is linear to the calculated data.
[0090] In order to calculate the first degree of freedom the sum of C and D is divided by two and subtracted from the result of A plus B divided by two.
[0091] To calculate the second degree of freedom the sum of D and A is divided by two and then subtracted from the result of B plus C divided by two. [0092] The third degree of freedom is calculated by dividing the sum of A, B, C and D by four. [0093] According to the invention, Figure 10 shows a second assembled embodiment, where the spring-body mounts (1) hold the spring -bodies, which themselves hold the anchorages (4) and two of the three spring-bodies are connected with a bridge in order to form one component and the spring-bodies put under tension by a constricting area where the anchorages (4) are held in the spring -bodies, to assure the trackball (9), which is held in the ball-mount (14) by the bearing-points (5), is allowed to be moved freely and with consistent spring-force in all directions, which is essential to ensure the measurement of the trackball through optical sensors, which are positioned in a 90° angle to each other in their cut-outs (6) and scan the trackballs (9) surface as well as the hall-sensors (12), which are mounted on a circuit-board (11) inside the casing (13) and measure the position of the magnet (10), which is mounted on the ball-mount (14).
[0094] According to the invention, Figure 11 shows a third assembled embodiment, where two spring-body mounts are combined into one elongated spring-body mount (25) which hold one elongated spring-body (24), which itself holds one elongated anchorage (23) and one other spring-body mount (1) hold one spring-body which itself holds one anchorage (4) and all spring-bodies are put under tension by a constricting area, to assure the trackball (9), which is held in the ball-mount (14) by the bearing-points (5), is allowed to be moved freely and with consistent spring-force in all directions, which is essential to ensure the measurement of the trackball through optical sensors, which are positioned in a 90° angle to each other in their cut-outs (6) and scan the trackballs (9) surface as well as the hall-sensors (12), which are mounted on a circuit-board (11) inside of the casing (13) and measure the position of the magnet (10), which is mounted on the ball-mount (14). The elongated spring -body (24) has a form that the center point of the spring-force distribution lies in the middle of the trackball (9).
LIST OF REFERENCE NUMBERS
1 spring body mount
2 constricting area (for squeezing the spring body)
3 elastic spring body
4 connecting element
5 supporting points
6 recess for optical sensors
7 mount for a measuring magnet
8 hole in the elastic spring body (in which the spring body for the ball-mounting are held)
9 trackball
10 measuring magnet
11 data processing means
12 Hall-sensors
13 housing
14 ball-mounting
15 half circumference
16 right Angle
17 center of the ball and the center of the ball-mounting
18 equilateral triangle
19 equator of the ball
20 cylinder which is spanned at the equator
21 hand
22 two linked spring-bodies forming on component
23 elongated connecting element
24 elongated elastic spring body
25 elongated spring body mount

Claims

Claims
1. A data recording device for quantifying rotational and/or translational parameters comprising
a. a trackball (9) which is freely rotatable mounted via at least four supporting points (5) in a ball mounting (14), wherein each supporting point (5) is positioned in a quarter of a circumference (15), wherein one half of the circumference (15) has been rotated by 90 degrees with regard to the other half of the circumference and both halves of the circumference are connected via the center of the circumference (15), and
b. a housing (13) for the ball mounting (14), wherein the ball mounting (14) is arranged via three connecting elements (4) engaging in three elastic spring bodies (3) within the housing (13), and
c. at least one sensor system for quantifying changes in position or motion parameters.
2. The device according to claim 1, wherein the connecting elements (4) form the corners of an equilateral triangle, wherein the center (17) of the triangle is also the center of the trackball (9).
3. The device according to claim 1, wherein at least two connecting elements (4) are mechanically connected and engaging in at least one elastic spring body (3).
4. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the trackball (9) has a surface structure that is detectable by optical sensors.
5. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a sensor of the sensor system is at least one optical sensor and/or an electromagnetic wave sensor and/or ultrasonic sensor and/or at least three hall sensors or a combination of the different sensors.
6. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein a measuring magnet (10) from the ball mounting (14) is captured by Hall-sensors (12).
7. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the ball mounting (14) has at least one recess for an optical sensor.
8. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the ball mounting (14) comprises at least one mount (7) for a measurement magnet (10).
9. The device according to any of the preceding claims, comprising optical sensors for determining rotational changes and a magnet and hall sensors for determining translational changes.
10. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spring-body (3) is made of silicone.
11. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the trackball (9) is made from a very hard plastic.
12. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein each supporting point (5) comprises a sphere mounted in the connecting element (4).
13. The device according to claim 10, wherein the sphere of a supporting points (5) is made of metal.
14. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the housing (13) comprises means for processing data (11).
15. The device according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the spring bodies (3) are fitted within mounts (1) of the housing (13).
16. The use of a data recording device according to any of the preceding claims to enter data in medical devices, data processing units or as game controller.
PCT/EP2011/064145 2010-08-17 2011-08-17 Data recording device in the form of an arrangement for entering position or motion parameters WO2012022764A1 (en)

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