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THARIS: Two-Handed, Action-Reaction, Isometric, Symmetrical Joystick

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104237D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 140K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kelley, JF: AUTHOR

Abstract

Traditional joysticks (stick on base) have awkward ergonomic design for two-handed operation. This two-handed design is optimized to be more natural in common scenarios of joystick use.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

THARIS:  Two-Handed, Action-Reaction, Isometric, Symmetrical Joystick

      Traditional joysticks (stick on base) have awkward ergonomic
design for two-handed operation.  This two-handed design is optimized
to be more natural in common scenarios of joystick use.

      Traditional joysticks have a design assumption that does not
reflect actual use: They are designed as a stick on a base.

      Conventional one-handed joystick design

      It is assumed that the user will sit at a table/countertop and
gently move the stick around.  Also, no ergonomic consideration is
given to the fact that most patterns of game use require that the
base be held firmly to the desktop while the stick is moved -- often
violently -- too and fro.  The base is not designed to be held down
conveniently.

      Traditional joysticks are even more poorly designed for the
pattern of use more frequently observed: the user holds the base in
the palm of one hand and moves the joystick with the other.  The
non-symmetrical design of base and stick require that the user use
different muscle groups in each arm/hand; this makes coordination
difficult.

      The primary novelty of the THARIS Joystick is that it
acknowledges the two-handed nature of much joystick input behavior.
There are two symmetrical hand-grips (Fig. 2).  Control signals are
generated by using the hands in opposition (piezo-electric
transducers, strain guages, or other relevant art is used to convert
stress forces to computer inputs).  The user "drives" with the right
hand; the counter-forces generated by the other hand will be
automatic and natural.  Muscle groups used for each component (left
arm/hand vs.  right arm/hand) are naturally opposing flexor-extensor
pairs.

      THARIS joystick

      For left-handed users, the polarity of the transducer output is
simply reversed so that the user can focus on "driving" with the left
hand.  (Depending on the dynamics of forces observed in working
models, it may be better to mount sensors in both joints and  switch
them electrically for left-handed users.)

      One way to think about it is that the non-controlling handgrip
is really just a special grip for the "base" of a traditional
isometric joystick which has been ergonomically designed to make the
counter forces more natural to apply.

      Characteristics are:

1.  There are at least 2 axes of control, forward-backward force (as
    "seen" by the top of the control stick) and side-to-sid...