Airbag setup has been the main safety equipment in cars since ever as it successfully nullifies the impact of a crash and keeps the driver safe. Given the enclosed space in cars, Airbag is the most sensible feature but Airbag for motorcycle riders might sound strange to some. The students of IIT Roorkee have transformed this strange idea into a workable one by developing inflatable airbags for riders.
It was during the internship with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that the students floundered upon this idea while working on inflatable space antennas. After a thorough research on laws of collision and other science involved behind the idea, the students managed to execute a feasible plan of a helmet that would blow itself to save the rider.
How does it work?
Although it could be called a helmet, its design would be nowhere close to the conventional lids which we put on today. In fact, it is a collar which could be draped around the neck. Something that will look like a loosened neck brace will blow into an airbag if the rider collides. It covers the neck and goes all the way up to the skull protecting the whole face.
For sensing the hit, the IIT students have installed several sensors around the equipment which will sense parameters such as speed, lean angle and all others required to spot a mishap. Thanks to these sensors, the system is capable of sensing the crash less than 100 milliseconds before it even takes place.
The plastic helmets may prevent bone injuries but they often fail to prevent the internal bleeding which takes place within the brain. The developers claim that this new accessory will bring down the chances of serious injuries up to four times as compared to the standard helmets.
Inflatable helmets are already invented and developed outside India but those systems are profoundly expensive owing to the costly sensors they incorporate. The one developed by Indian students are said to use budget sensors which will make them affordable for budget-conscious Indians.
The time of introduction of these type of helmets is still uncertain since the students are seeking industry support for mass production. Although the idea sounds useful and interesting, its actual adaptability could be commented on only when we get the hands on it....