From article: "The first electrical 2-axis joystick was probably invented around 1944 in Germany. The device was developed for targeting the glide bomb Henschel Hs 293 against ship targets. Here, the joystick was used by an operator to steer the missile towards its target. This joystick had on-off switches rather than analogue sensors. The signal was transmitted from the joystick to the missile via radio.
This invention was picked up by someone in the team of scientists assembled at the Heeresversuchsanstalt in Peenem?nde. Here a part of the team on the German rocket program was developing the Wasserfall missile, a variant of the V-2 rocket, the first ground-to-air missile. The Wasserfall steering equipment converted the electrical signal to radio signals and transmitted these to the missile.
In the 1960s the use of joysticks became widespread in radio-controlled airplane modelling systems such as the Kwik Fly produced by Phill Kraft (1964). Kraft Systems eventually became an important OEM supplier of joysticks to the computer industry and other users. The first use of joysticks outside the radio-controlled aircraft industry may have been in the control of powered wheelchairs, such as the Permobil (1963). During this time period NASA used joysticks as control devices as part of the Apollo missions. For example, the lunar lander test models were controlled with a joystick."
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