Programmable joystick with a focus on ergonomics

With the aid of both ergonomists and users, Morse Controls has brought out a new type of programmable joystick that will enable more ergonomic operation of equipment, such as industrial vehicles.

The new joystick has all the necessary electronics built in, so that it can, for example, be connected to a CAN databus via its multi-pole connector. In addition, pulsewidth modulated (PWM) signals or analogue control voltages can be obtained from the joystick, for direct control of solenoid valves.

The unit’s six background-lit buttons are programmable via a serial RS-232 interface and a Windows-based program. This program permits all of the parameters and automatic functions to be supervised.

‘The idea is that the designer shall be able to install the joystick in, for example, an armrest,’ says Bjorn Hedlund, General Manager for Morse Controls in Sweden. This gives the joystick an optimal position when the control system is used frequently.

The joystick handgrip can be changed, and so the unit can be adapted to suit different applications and users. The wrist rests on a surface covered with a material that according to the company provides firm support and a comfortable feeling even after many hours.

‘It is vital that the joystick’s design and shape prevent industrial injury and consequent time off sick,’ says Jan Lindstrom, who is the Project Manager for development of the joystick. ‘A modern joystick must also feel good to use.’

A typical application for the new joystick is to control hydraulic equipment in various types of industrial vehicles, such as fork lifts trucks, wheel loaders and agriculture tractors.