Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Niklas Elmqvist

Committee Member 1

Vijay Raghunathan

Committee Member 2

Karthik Ramani


Kinesiology research has shown that translation and rotation are inseparable actions in the real world. Motivated by this fact, this thesis explores a model for the computer mouse, the new addition being rotational input about vertical axis of a mouse. We realize our model through Mushaca, a 3-degrees-of-freedom mouse (3DOF mouse) that can sense rotation, in addition to sensing XY planar translation. The thesis presents two realizations of Mushaca - namely a MEMS version that uses accelerometer and gyroscope, and an optical sensor version that uses two optical sensors. Through a controlled user study we try to find out if that rotation is an useful input modality in pointing devices. The user study shows that in general rotation is a useful input modality, but it excels a standard mouse only in certain scenarios. Through the user study we also study the effect of the rotating coordinate system of the mouse and also how users adapt to this changing frame of reference through kinesthetic learning.