Science

Now, an inflatable helmet for bikers

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2018 Published on June 25, 2018

The helmet on inflation, a simulated model

IIT Roorkee students claim their invention handles collision impact effectively

 

Taking inspiration from an internship project they did at the Indian Space Research Organisation last year, three engineering students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IT) Roorkee have designed an inflatable helmet that is superior to the conventional headgear worn by motorbike riders.

The inflatable safety helmet designed by the IIT students can be worn around the neck and remains folded as a collar, till the time an impact is detected. The device is equipped with sensors to measure a host of parameters such as acceleration, lean angle, and velocity to detect impact or collision.

As soon as the impact occurs, the helmet inflates and forms a cushion around the cranium. This cushion is more effective in reducing the impact and peak acceleration which is transferred to head.

If the final year mechanical engineering students — Rajvardhan Singh, Sarang Nagwanshi and Mohit Siddha — can turn the prototype they developed into a successful commercial product, it could be a boon to two-wheeler riders in India, who constitute nearly two-third of vehicle owners in the country. Two-wheeler riders account for 27 per cent of 1.2 million deaths associated with road accidents in the country.

According to Singh, the IIT students got the idea while working on inflatable space antennae as part of an ISRO project. “We wanted to explore whether we can use the same technology to develop a product that is useful for the man on the street,” Singh told BusinessLine.

Subsequently, the students devoted time and energy to understanding the physics of collision and inflatable structures and even developed a mathematical model that would help measure different types of collision impacts.

“The product has been conceptualised and tested for effectiveness and feasibility, and it has shown positive results. But for mass production, we need more diligence from our side and industry support. So we are still working to make it consumer-friendly. We are also looking for industrial partnerships so that the product turns out to be cost-effective and user-friendly,” said Sanjay Upadhaya of the department of mechanical and industrial engineering at IIT Roorkee, who guided the students. Singh said they are currently exploring the possibility of working with Indian firms that design airbags for vehicles and even floating a start-up to develop the technology further.

Published on June 25, 2018
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