Joysticks are familiar to most of us in a range of different sizes, from the thumbsticks featured on the latest gaming controllers to the full-sized multifunction handles used in off-road and specialist equipment. Joysticks are vital in the industrial arena, too. Many classes of industrial equipment benefit from the fine motor control that is possible with the use of a joystick, and designers are constantly finding new applications for them.
The thumb control is the smallest solution, ideal for handheld devices and enabling one-handed control. Despite its size, the thumbstick retains the analog response of the full-sized joystick.
Slightly larger are the controls that are designed for fingertip use. Often found where users require precise navigation in confined spaces, they have found a place in applications as diverse as security and medical equipment. They are also frequently used in mobile control panels for heavy equipment. However, they lack the size to offer users with a full suite of additional functionality.
At the other end of the spectrum, handgrip joysticks offer real versatility. They are large enough to allow the installation of additional controls, from simple pushbutton switches to rollers and thumbsticks. However, their physical size can be a drawback in confined spaces.
APEM has identified the need for a new size of joystick. Larger and more versatile than the simple fingertip controller, but not as bulky as the handgrip joystick, the mid-sized XP range offers a new solution for the operator. Its compact design fits well into the palm of the user and delivers a more comfortable experience for operators with smaller hands. They have the functionality of a full-sized joystick, with space for switches, rollers, and indicators to be installed, and they retain the all-metal construction of their larger equivalents.
The XP series is also well-protected against moisture and water ingress, making them suitable for use in the toughest industrial conditions. Combined with their smaller size, the robust construction of the mid-sized joystick is delivering precise control for a new generation of users in exciting applications.