Digital Technologies/Electronics: Joysticks and trackballs (1955 – 1970)
Joysticks and trackballs (1955 – 1970)
For the purpose of pointing to objects on radar screens and to input track information, increasingly advanced joystick systems were developed by TNO starting in 1955. A joystick is an instrument that converts a mechanical movement of a control stick, slider or rotating ball in the X and Y direction into two proportional analogue electrical voltages via two (or more) potentiometers. These two variable voltages move a symbol across a screen. This information can be used to mark certain information in the image (e.g. a radar echo).
The photos below show the technical and mechanical advancements over time.