Edited by Stephen J. Mraz

In the medical arena alone, they can be found on lasers, high-frequency surgical devices, X-rays, MRI machines and CAT scanners, operating-room chairs and beds, as well as dental equipment. Originally these devices triggered simple switching procedures.

Nowadays, users expect far more and the options have become far more sophisticated, thanks to engineers at steute, (steuteusa.com). For example, the German-based firm makes foot switches with built-in rocker switches and joypads, which can be used to control complex procedures. Their newest switches incorporate USB interfaces that can wirelessly send up to eight digital signals and three analog signals. Switches are CE approved, RoHS compliant, and meet the Medical Device Directive and IEC60601.