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A u-joint is a kind of shaft joint whose whole name is universal joint. A universal joint, or u-joint, is one of many names given to a type of gimbal-based joint design that connects two rods and allows them to bend in virtually any direction while spinning. Other names for the design include Cardan joint, which is the common term in Europe; the now-archaic Hooke's joint; and Hardy-Spicer joint, named for a pair of inventors who developed a variant on the traditional design. A universal joint is typically used in situations where long shafts are rotating in place and transmitting power, such as an automobile's drivetrain.