0
\$\begingroup\$

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

\$\endgroup\$
0
\$\begingroup\$

I'm collecting info about the history of trackpoint to avoid re-inventing wheels (and put into web resource). It appears that some mil-spec and industrial applications have put the tech to use, here's a group that may be available; http://www.ultra-msi.com/miniature-joystick-models.html#force. I may have useful info for you in future. I've worked with strain gauges and MAY reconstruct the crime (after understanding the patent trail better).

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.