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The ErgoJoystick can replace typical goal-post style joystick handles. People with arthritis, weak or impaired hand function, or individuals who fatigue easily will find the ergonomic design of this wheelchair joystick effective and comfortable.
The Panther was designed to be effortless. Unlike the stingray it allows you to keep your wrist in-line with your forearm while going backwards, forwards or anywhere in-between. It does this without sacrificing the lateral stability needed for precise turning. The surface which supports your palm has also been redesigned for greater comfort. The Panther enables all forces to be distributed through the padded surfaces of your hand avoiding the center of your palm where tendons lay close to the surface.
The Stingray provides a large surface area which supports your palm when drivng forward for greater comfort. It also features an intuitive, aesthetically pleasing look. The handle sits at rest with an agressive bckwards lean. It is the perfect handle for those who frequently drive long distances.
The Aero design is inspired by the air scoops on high end bike helmets. The holes shave weight while allowing the hand to breathe.
Elbow should rest on armrest
Joystick base should be at the same height as armrest
Upper arm should be nearly vertical with elbow near midline of your body joystick should be in line with shoulder, elbow and hand
Some additional points
The handle will twist around joystick shaft. I find this to be a comfort feature as it allows your wrist to change positions, keeping the wrist lose when driving long distances. It also allows you to turn the handle to give better access to buttons on the controller.
The handle is not designed to be grabbed. Rest your palm on the handle and let your fingers and thumb hang loose.
If the handle falls off frequently, it can be shimmed. I like to use a twist tie wrapped over the top of the shaft.
The ergojoystick has the same safety concerns as "goalpost style" joystick handles. If you do not currently use such a handle take note of the following prior to using the handle
The handle is wider than the knob that came with the chair. It may stick out farther than the edge of the controller. Keep this in mind when driving in tight spaces.
Be careful of any surface that the handle could hit or get caught under. These are usually tall tables. If it gets trapped while the chair is in a driving mode, the chair will move uncontrollably.
Be aware that your shirt or jacket sleeve may hang beneath the handle. If it does, pay attention when taking your hand off the handle. If the cuff tends to catch, it may make the chair move unintentionally.
The handle can easily get caught on clothing or bags of people walking close by. Always turn off your chair when you are not driving especially on busses or where people will be walking near you.
For Palm size, measure across your palm below your knuckles and above your thumb (see sketch). Give us the measurement in tenths of an inch or mm i.e 3.3 inches or 84mm.
Measurement reference guide
Pediatric: less than 3", 76mm
Average Female: 3.0", 76mm
Average Male: 3.5", 89mm
Very Large hand: 3.8", 97mm
Largest Ever Sold: 4", 102mm
Right or left
Joystick Shaft size
The diameter shaft handle depends on wheelchair manufacturer.
Invacare chairs have .1875 inch (4.8mm) while most others are 0.25 inch (6.4mm). When measuring the shaft size of your wheelchair controller, be sure to remove the rubber cap or plastic knob that comes from the manufacturer. You will be measuring the metal shaft underneath.
For a quick check, 0.25 inch is about the diameter of a #2 pencil.
White, Black, Hot Pink, Coral Red, Royal Blue, Violet Purple, Yellow, Green, Orange
This handle is patented under US Patent 9,625,935 B2
Note: Lead time between 3 - 6 weeks.
Background: I will be turning 29 this month. My primary diagnosis is paraplegia. Initially I used only a manual wheelchair but spine pain, a prior fracture to my left shoulder along with numbness in my hands caused me to start using a power wheelchair almost full time and a manual chair when I am unable to use my power wheelchair. I work 10-12 hours a day, I am a full time Masters student, and I am involved in volunteer work that is very physical in nature. During the trial I drove my wheelchair to work 1.4 miles away, used my chair all day, and then drove 1.4 miles back home on uneven sidewalk surfaces.
Previous Joysticks: I initially used a standard cap on my joystick. I moved to using the ergo joystick Stingray version (pictured on the right – white) about 1 1/2 years ago. I participated in beta testing the Panther version (Purple) for three weeks. For the purpose of this review I will be comparing my Stingray (White) to the new Panther (Purple).
Aesthetics: I love the way that the ergo joysticks look on my chair and they are often conversation starters. The stingray and the panther look very similar with the only major difference being the base of the joystick. My stingray was white and I learned quickly that it would pick up everything off of my hands which made it hard to keep clean. For the panther I decided to go with purple and I couldn’t be happier. The purple color is very vibrant and still visible in the dark. I have an all black chair so my handle have some color really makes it pop and allows me to have a little biti of personality on my chair without sacrificing professionalism.
Fit : Both handles were ordered as the same size. As you can see in the comparison photos above, the panther (purple) has a much better fit for smaller hands than the stingray (white) did. Both handle bases have a snug fit on my controls but not so snug that I can’t get them off if needed. As for installing, they were both the same and I was able to complete independently but some may need assistance with getting the control on if they lack finer motor skills as you have to line up the stick and the hole for the joystick.
Comfort: Hands down both of these handles are significantly more comfortable than a standard joystick. Due to the improved fit and a slight change on the shape of the panther makes it even more comfortable. The flexibility of the panther over the stingray is more comfortable for long distance and uneven surfaces than the stingray which is a very stiff handle.
Learning Curve: When I initially moved to the stingray I was able to put it on and was immediately comfortable and confident with the handle because it is stiff like the standard joystick cover. With the panther it did take me about an hour with the joystick to get used to the flexibility in the joystick because I have never had a joystick that had flexibility so the sensitivity was different than I was used to. For someone that is coming over from a standard goal post or other similar joystick handle that is stiff may take additional time to adjust.
Impressions: I have a lot more control of my chair when using an ergo joystick. With both handles they are sensitive to my movements and are easy to turn and stop suddenly. I feel confident in my control of my chair with the ergo joysticks, which I did not feel with a standard joystick. The flexibility of the panther (purple) base is beneficial to me when dealing with spasms because the flexibility reduce unintended movements. While driving on uneven surfaces I dealt with less fatigue when using the panther over the stingray as the handle flexed when going over bumps. The panther sits slightly lower than the stingray. I utilize a swing away joystick which I ALWAYS use when pulling up to a table or desk to ensure that I don’t accidently catch my handle which only took one time of a wild ride to pay attention to.
Affordability: The stingray is 80.00 USD while the panther is 90.00. I find that for medical equipment, this is very affordable. I personally chose the ergo joystick initially because I liked the customization but also because of price and the fact that I was supporting a small business with an owner who has a disability rather than a CEO making six figures off of my disability.
Overall: I switched back to my stingray from the panther for a few days before completing my review to ensure that I could identify the differences. I was definitely disappointed when I left the panther on the counter before heading out to work for the day. The stingray was a great handle but the panther is an incredible handle in my opinion. The aesthetics, affordability, safety, and comfort have made me an ergo joystick user for life. Some may be more comfortable with the stiffness of the stingray at the beginning but I believe once getting used to the panther that it is a more comfortable handle.
The Ergojoystick has been a game changer for me! I have been a power chair user for the better part of my life. I never realized how uncomfortable a goal post joystick truly is, until I upgraded to something better.
Here are three points I enjoy about the Panther model:
The style of the joystick provides maximum comfort for long rides. (I tested this out by doing over a mile ride)
My hand does not fall off the joystick when driving. I live in the country and frequently travel on dirt roads, with the goal post style my hand would frequently fall off the joystick with every bump my chair hit. With the Ergojoystick, the joystick fits my hand, so I have a smoother ride because I don’t have to frequently stop to reposition my hand.
It is stylish! I have gotten plenty of compliments on it when out and about.
It did take some time for me to get used to driving with it. I felt like I had to train my brain to distribute weight through my palm to steer. I think that’s just because I was used to a certain style of joystick for 20+ years!
I would definitely recommend this joystick for anyone who uses a power chair.
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard people with disabilities say, “geez, who designs these things?” in reference to their assistive technology or mobility equipment, I’d be rich. What first intrigued me about the ergojoystick is that it was conceptualized and designed by a person with a disability who uses a powerchair himself. Joe Olsen understands, through personal experience, the kinds of things that are difficult about operating power mobility equipment and the ways in which traditional joysticks may fall short.
The process of customizing the ergojoystick was relatively simple, involving just a few measurements and photos of my driving hand. I chose the Stingray design and was pleasantly surprised with how well the device fit my hand. In fact, many people mistakenly thought it was custom molded.
As a person with Cerebral Palsy, I had no trouble fitting the ergojoystick on the joystick shaft. It actually fit more snuggly than my traditional joystick knob, which was always loosing friction and popping off. I discovered through my trial that I actually position my hand differently throughout the day depending on the driving environment, and the ergojoystick accommodated that by rotating around the shaft.
I immediately felt more comfortable and had less pain using this joystick for longer distances. It provided a more natural resting place for my hand, which in turn seemed to reduce spasticity in my arm, hand, and fingers. This year’s winter season has been the one of the worst on record for Michigan in terms of ice and snowfall, but I felt as much, if not more control on the bumpy, slick surfaces than with my original joystick. On rough terrain or in tight spaces the shape of the stingray allowed me to have more control by grasping the device in a claw position.
I have had the Ergo Joystick ( Stingray model) attached to my joystick controller for a few weeks at this juncture, and have had a chance to present my evaluation of this product:
1. The handle attaches easily to the joystick stem, and I was able to attach it without assistance.
2. When in use, the device is quite responsive. I have suffered no fatigue whatsoever when operating my powerchair, making me infinitely more productive in my workplace.
3. The shape of the Ergo Joystick basically conforms to the contours of my hand in a resting position, thus I have more effective control of the movement of my appliance.
4. I have been able to remain in a state of motion in my powerchair for hours for the very first time since the very early days of the onset of my neuromuscular condition.
5. I have had the opportunity to interface with different types of terrain and angles of approach to obstacles within my environment, as well as reversing and turning radius with my chair onto platforms without incident, being in full control of my chairs positioning whether it be from street to sidewalk, indoors, or onto the public transit system (for the first time in many years).
I am in love with this joystick! At first it seemed a little oddly shaped, and is slightly too large on the left side. But the comfort of driving my wheelchair more than makes up for this. The customizing options are also a huge bonus! People stopped me on more than one occasion interested in hearing more about my unique joystick. Some even wanted to know where they could get one.
The first few days took a little getting used to. It was an adjustment to go from grasping a knob with my fingers, to resting my whole hand. The drive is now smooth and my finger joints don’t lock up from the cold. It’s also much easier to drive up hill, because I am no longer straining to extend my arm forward. My hang simply rests comfortably on the joystick. I could not say anything truly negative about this innovation. I love using it, and will recommend it to anyone else looking to drive his or her wheelchair comfortably!
I have used the Ergo JoyStick consistently for two weeks. I use my power chair 99% of the time and therefore, a joystick 99% of the time.
As a person with quadriplegia for 21+ years with tendonitis and carpal tunnel, the Ergo JoyStick handle is definitely more comfortable than a traditional joy stick...especially when going forward and backward...the two most used directions. My wrist and hand are a source of chronic pain and burning and the handle provides some relief.
The position of my wrist is more relaxed and natural. I like that the handle is custom fit to me.
I like the handle so much that I am actually in the process of raising my desk to accommodate the height of this new joystick.
Pulling up to a table, desk, my steering wheel while driving...are all dangerous with the handle due to its height. Many times, it has hit the surface of the said items, sendings chair out of control. The only solution to this I think, is if there was a way to lower the wheelchair controller so when the handle is attached and therefore adds height, that it ends up being the height as the original joystick that comes on the controller. Sleeves also catch on it. People bump into it more easily than the traditional joystick. Also, I sometimes hang grocery sacks on my controller and with the size and shape of the handle, I can no longer get a bag on/off without assistance. I also suggest making the device out of something the recipient can heat up and mold to their hand. To explain further, at times I would like for the top of the handle to extend so that my fingers are not curled over the device, but rather are flatter with my fingers straight akin to a splint. See CAUTION above.
I’ve been using the Stingray model of the ErgoJoystick for approximately 2 weeks now and have been greatly impressed by the increased comfort and reduce fatigue of this joystick. While I have reasonable finger function, I have chronic pain in my right wrist and thumb. Compared to my standard, small ball joystick, using the Stingray ErgoJoystick has given me greater comfort, especially on long distance trips. I’ve also been equally impressed on how easy it is to use while wearing heavy winter gloves, a Pittsburgh winter necessity, since wearing gloves usually makes it fairly hard to control the joystick. It is unusual and difficult to find products that fit my smaller than average hands, making a nice feature of the ErgoJoystick is that it can be custom sized. Overall, I’ve been impressed by the Stingray ErgoJoystick, and will continue to use this product long into the future.