Piher Sensors and Controls met the lectronic sensor input require- ments needed for the redesign of
the revolutionary JoyBar, an intuitive control for electric wheelchairs developed by
Active Controls. The original JoyBar model
was a vast improvement over the traditional Joystick control, which had been notorious for being extremely difficult to operate.
However, the first JoyBar could not
accommodate more than one output function (ability to control steering or acceleration on the wheelchair), which did not meet
requirements for severely disabled persons
and Medicare funding in the U.S. market.
It also did not meet new regulations in
Europe that mandates redundant (dual
independent) outputs to safeguard against
To solve these issues, Active Controls
developed the Enhanced JoyBar using
Piher’s redundant, non-contacting rotary
sensor technology to replace the analog
(single output) potentiometric circuitry
design of the original model.
After some research, the Active Controls
engineering team found that the PSC-360
Hall Effect Sensor would provide the entire
By Paul C. Cain, General Manager, North America,
solution. In addition to the sensor provid-
ing redundant sensing and capabilities for
it also enables the
bar to be compat-
ible with many of
the existing controllers that have unlimited
Size-wise, the PSC-360 was a simple
drop-in-place solution, easily fitting into
the existing hand control. It required min-
imal tooling to make up for the slightly
larger space than the previous analog sen-
sors originally designed for the unit.
The PSC-360 has a permanent
magnet as the only moving com-
The first new way to control electric
wheelchairs since they were invented
more than 70 years ago.
Piher Sensors & Controls