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Researchers tout progress with maglev joystick, aim to bring it to market


Maglev technology may be best know for its use in trains (and the odd wind turbine), but a group of researchers led by Carnegie Mellon University's Ralph Hollis have some ideas of their own for it, with them now touting a so-called "maglev joystick" that they hope to bring to market. That, they say, can provide increased feedback compared to a standard joystick, and offer an alternative to complicated gloves and robotic interfaces. Key to that, obviously, is a whole bunch of electromagnets, which are concealed in the bowl pictured above and allow the "joystick" to levitate, while also providing resistance when it's moved in any direction. Needless to say, there's no indication as to when the joystick might actually be available, but Hollis has recently formed a company, Butterfly Haptics, with just that as its goal, and it'll apparently soon be shipping six of the joysticks to a consortium of US and Canadian universities for testing.

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