Iris Dynamics Ltd. has launched a kickstarter campaign going to produce an consumer priced Force Feedback Flight Sim Control Yoke for home flight sim use.
Traditional force feedback yokes are priced outside of the consumer market, costing thousands of dollars. This is largely due to the complexity needed to replicate linear (pitch) forces. These designs rely on gears, chain drives, slide carriages, hydraulic actuators and the like.
The unique open platform design offered by Iris Dynamics functions by simple magnetic fields and is controlled through a Raspberry Pi, generating realistic feel, affordable pricing, all on a hackable platform. Movement of the yoke is created by manipulating magnetic fields surrounding rare earth magnets embedded in the yokes shaft. The magnetic fields are induced by passing current through a series of copper coils, controlled by the high resolution Arduino based microcontroller. Dynamic and static forces from the magnetic fields allow for precise and incremental changes in power and thereby movement of the yoke.
This design has allowed Iris Dynamics to develop the first affordable force feedback simulator yoke. Simultaneously, Iris Dynamics makes no compromise on authenticity. The precise control of magnetic fields through-out the yoke realistically simulate correct control column movement and resistance throughout all stages of flight, and trim condition. In addition, Iris Dynamics utilizes both optical and Hall effect sensors to track shaft position, in contrast to low-resolution mechanical potentiometers found in traditional designs.
They have raised almost $22k so far of the $75k goal ending December 21, 2013. Head over to their Kickstarter campaign to read through the details.