The joystick is an input device used for playing games. It is a stick which can be moved lefr, right, forward and backward. The movements are sensed by a potentiometer. As the stick moves, the movements are translated into binary instructions with the help of electrical contacts in its base.
A popular variation of the joystick used on modern video game consoles is the analog stick.
The joystick has been the principal flight control in the cockpit of many aircraft, particularly military fast jets, either as a center stick or side-stick.
Joysticks are also used for controlling machines such as cranes, trucks, underwater unmanned vehicles, wheelchairs, surveillance cameras and zero turning radius lawn mowers. Miniature finger-operated joysticks have been adopted as input devices for smaller electronic equipment such as mobile phones.
The name "joystick" is thought to originate with early 20th century French pilot Robert Esnault-Pelterie. There are also competing claims on behalf of fellow pilots Robert Loraine, James Henry Joyce and A. E. George. Loraine is credited with entering the term "joystick" in his diary in 1909 when he went to Pau to learn to fly at Bleriot's school. George was a pioneer aviator who with his colleague Jobling built and flew a biplane at Newcastle in England in 1910. He is alleged to have invented the "George Stick" which became more popularly known as the joystick.