Robotic Game Controller Adjusts Itself, Frags Carpal-Tunnel

The device automatically adjusts itself, so that you never linger in one position long enough to develop repetitive stress.

photo game

If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably set the control down after a mammoth, hours-long session and felt a tingling sensation in your hands or thumbs. Bad news: That’s the first symptom of Repetitive Stress Injury, better known as carpal tunnel syndrome, which can eventually lead to debilitating pain. To combat that problem,  Smartfish designed the Promotion, an ergonomic controller which–get this–is also a robot, guiding you towards better hand positioning.


The grips of the control move on two axes: First, in an arc revolving around it’s center, and also up and down. That’s where the robotics kick in. The controller senses exactly how long you’ve been playing in a given position, and then periodically changes the controller’s shape, to prevent repetitive stress. In all, it cycles through seven stages.

Smartfish created the device–in addition to a wireless mouse and a robotic, wireless keyboard–in consultation with the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, one of the world’s leading orthopedic surgery facilities. The mouse and the keyboard will ship in August, for $60 and $150. The controller will be available some time after that. The only catch: It’s only available for PC’s and Macs.

[Smartfish via Oh Gizmo]

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.