Wednesday, February 20, 2008
So for a while I have been kicking around the idea of having an accelerometer embedded in the helmet to record trauma. I feel that this is an invaluable piece of technology to incorporated into helmet because it may be able help determine if the person wearing the helmet has experienced G forces that could result in a brain injury. In instances where the helmet takes non-destructive impacts it could be used to determine if the helmet needs to be replaced, since it is often difficult if not impossible to tell if the integrity of a helmet has been compromised unless the amage is visible.
These devices record g forces applied to an object are cheap enough to be disposable.
"The Shock Timer-Plus 3Dtm is a low cost, low g, 3-axis shock detector with time stamp. The device detects and logs whenever shocks occur that exceed the trip level, and saves a date and time stamp of occurrence and peak-g level. The device is re-settable and reusable via a wireless IRDA interface to a PC. The unit is supplied with a simple windows software package for setting it up, extracting data, and writing it to a file. The file may then be opened in MS Excel for review and analysis"
This is gold!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
This is a diagram looking at different types of cyclists in the GVRD. For and excellent and humours illustrated Field Guide to Vancouver Cyclist chekc out momentum magazine.
Just started to explore a relationship between Shoes ad helmets. At first they seem dissimilar but when you think about their functions there is much in common. If all goes well today I should be able to post a few new sneaker influenced sketches...and a couple of links to cycling culture and shoes.
If I had a chunk of extra money my favorite cycling shoes of all time would be Puma G villas 96 hours edition, that’s if I could ever bring myself to ride in them. They have super stiff soles and are super sexy.
Anyone have a favorite cycling shoe?
Friday, February 1, 2008
I think that one of the greatest sensorial experiences of cyclign is having wind go through you hair and on your face. It's an important component that makes it feel so free.
but how can maintian this feeling while supplying sometype of head protection?
This leads to the question: Which is worse? wind swept hair or helmet hair.
Both these materials seem to have great potential for bicycle helmet padding -allowing greater exploration of foam and in the case of Beta gel amazing shock absorption.
Also note worthy are more conventional materials. I found this great exploration of materials: http://www.grantadesign.com/resources/materials/casestudies/helmet.htm, which illustrates that EPS (traditional helmet foam) has properties similar to more natural materials such as ultra low density cork and and low density balsa wood.
There is a tendency to select a low-density foam because it makes the helmet lighter. Figure 3 shows that alternative selections with the same plateau stress absorb much less energy: Polyurethane of density 0.53 Mg/m3, PU(0.53), for instance, absorbs only 0.4 MJ/m3. The value of figure 3 is the ease with which a first selection can be made, giving a short-list of viable candidates. Had the maximum permissible stress been 0.04 MPa, then the best choice among commercially available foams would be the low-density polyethylenes; had it been 10 MPa, then Al-Si metal foams or end-grain balsa would become the best choices, absorbing almost 10 MJ/m3.
I think these materials could also provide some great direction as well for a more natural, less techy helmet. I would like to say a more ecological helmet but I can't really validate that at the moment, and it seems a bit dodgy considering the current issues with cork. Perhaps though this could be an application for "tainted" cork that would be unusable to the wine industry.
and for a great story of invention check out this video of a new helmet liner developed by Australian physicist Don Morgan.
As a design student for my final thesis I am focusing on bicycle commuters as a niche group. Last semester I developed a convertible trolley/trailer for short range grocery shopping. This semester I have decided to continue on theme of urban cycling, but have changed my focus after being struck by an idea.
Last semester I decided to ditch my helmet one morning on a hurried ride to school. I was feeling self conscious about having messy helmet-hair for a presentation that day, and I am often self-conscious of looking like a bit of a bike dork with all my cycling gear on (although I fully am). To make matters worse I just pieced together a new bike a few days before and it wasn't exactly working 100%. While plowing along a flat section I dropped my chain on an up shift. I looked down for a split second and then suddenly my entire face went numb. I found my self standing upright over my top tube- I then took a step and peeled my face off the canopy of a pick-up truck. Anyways to make a long story short I really regret not wearing my helmet that day -- It could have saved me a bit of a headache and a black eye. For my project I am interested in tailoring a helmet specifically for commuters.
If you have stumbled across the blog and are interested in the project feel free to let me know would like to know how could your helmet be better? Post a link or send me a picture of the modifications you have made to improve your helmet.
Beyond incorporating lights, bluetooth, mirrors, headphones, what features do do dream your helmet had?
I would love to see photo's or sketches of peoples ideal cycling helmet. Thanks for you interest, within a few days I should have a blog of the project up and running.
This pic of Sheldon Brown illustrates one of my favorite helmet mods of all-time. It's like a fantastic hood ornament for his head -plus the story behind it is great too.