Putting Computer Mice to the Acid Test

As the main source of interaction with most computer systems, computer mice are particularly important To guarantee the best possible performance, one of the world's largest manufacturers of input devices is putting new developments as well as ongoing production in their laboratories to the acid test. The multifunctional zwickiLine from ZwickRoell was their first choice when selecting a testing machine. A computer mouse must move easily and, most importantly, smoothly to enable precise pointer movements. The manufacturer has little influence on the surface over which the mouse will finally move. It could be anything, from an untreated wooden board to an extensively optimized gaming pad. Therefore, mice and their feet undergo a number of tests. With a zwickiLine testing machine operated horizontally or connected via a deflection roller, the forces necessary to overcome the static friction and slide friction can be determined exactly. Based on these values, the developers then optimize the geometry and material selection for the mouse feet and mouse undersurface. However, they do not only want to achieve a perfectly smooth glide for the mice. The same zwickiLine testing machine in a different configuration tests how much force is necessary to release the mouse buttons. Additionally, an external resistance measuring device is used to measure the contact resistance of the switch inside the mouse. The result of the resistance measurement is transferred to testXpert III via the analog input of the I/O module on the zwickiLine control electronics and is included in the results calculation.
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