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Finger functionality and joystick design for complex hand control

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Author: Grinten, M.P. van der · Krause, F.
Publisher: Elsevier
Place: Oxford
Institution: TNO Kwaliteit van Leven
Source:Pikaar, R.N.Koningsveld, E.A.P.Settels, P.J.M., IEA 2006, 16th World Congress on Ergonomics "Meeting diversity in ergonomics"
Identifier: 278245
Keywords: Ergonomics · Arbeidsproductiviteit


Joysticks and similar multi-directional controls are increasingly applied in machines, instruments and consumer goods. Operational complexity rises through miniaturization and additional control functions on the joystick. With this the effort for the finger, hand and arm, and for the perceptive and cognitive system increases. High frequency of use, precision requirements and work pressure might further increase the load on operators. Effects reported are physical discomfort, health complaints, mental strain, lower productivity or quality. In this paper we concentrate on design ergonomics of controls. We summarize some joystick applications, results from simulation experiments with mini joysticks and a futuristic orthogonal control concept. As a result from a few case studies of newly prototyped joysticks in cooperation with manufacturers we put forward some machine manufacturer questions, illustrate a few examples of configuration imperfections and discuss gaps in ergonomic knowledge. The aim of the poster discussion will be to initiate joint actions fur further research and development in order to fill the knowledge gap concerning design principles, guidelines and specific solutions for these type of complex controls. The ergonomic design problems in complex joystick operations are highly comparable to those in other complex finger operated controls. Thus the demanded knowledge has a wider field of application than just complex joystick controls.