I have an application that would benefit from a sensitive two-axis force or bending torque measurement very much like what a pointing stick (a.k.a. TrackPoint) used to do in a ThinkPad, apparently using resistive strain gauges. I have been unable to find any commercial sensor with similar functionality at any price; all online references seem to be to salvaged pointing sticks from old laptops and ThinkPads, and the interface is not ideal on these anyway.
My application is not for human/machine I/O but rather to measure the horizontal force (in two dimensions) acting on an object at the top of a ~30 cm tall vertical rigid rod (the rod would transmit the force as a torque acting on the sensor at the bottom). I would consider constructing the sensor myself from two pairs of piezoresistive strain gages, but there too I have been unable identify parts with the appropriate size, low cost, and sensitivity.
Since pointing sticks were mass-produced at low cost for many years, I have to imagine that force sensors of comparable size and cost are still being manufactured somewhere.
Any leads or advice would be greatly appreciate