IIT Roorkee designs inflatable helmet for bikers

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  • According to the design, the inflatable helmet will be made of Kevlar that is a synthetic fibre that’s used to make bullet-proof jackets.
  • In case an impact is detected, the helmet inflates and forms a cushion around the cranium and reduces the chances of head injury by four times.
  • However the team is not ready for the mass production of the helmet yet as they are working to make the helmet consumer-friendly and looking for industrial partnerships for its launch.
Three engineering students from IIT Roorkee have designed an inflatable helmet that is much superior to the conventional headgear worn by bikers. The helmet works like an airbag that can open up in less than 100 milliseconds in case of an impact. It works better than traditional helmets and are also capable of reducing peak impact acceleration and prevent internal brain bleeds.

According to the design, the inflatable helmet will be made of Kevlar. Kevlar is a synthetic fibre used to make bullet-proof jackets.

The helmet is worn around the neck and remains folded at the collar. It comes with in-built sensors that measure a host of parameters to detect collision - like acceleration, lean angle and velocity. In case an impact is detected, the helmet inflates and forms a cushion around the cranium to reduce the chances of head injury by four times.

The device has been developed by three students, Sarang Nagwanshi, Mohit Siddha and Rajvardhan Singh, who are all in the final year of Mechanical Engineering at IIT Roorkee. They have been guided by Prof. Sanjay Upadhyay from the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, IIT Roorkee.

The three students took inspiration from the inflatable space antennae that they came across during an internship project in ISRO. As a helmet like this was being developed in India for the first time, they got very limited support from any external source.

Unlike the inflatable helmets developed overseas, the sensors they are planning to use are cheap and easily available. Therefore, the price of the product will be around ₹1,500-3,000 which is close to the cost of a traditional helmet.

The product was recently tested for its productivity and effectiveness, and has shown positive results. However it is not ready for mass production yet as the team is still working to make it consumer-friendly and is also looking for industrial partnerships for its launch.

The team is moving ahead on the lines of Hovding, an inflatable helmet manufacturer in Sweden.

As per the 2016 official data, 17 road accident deaths take place every hour and 27% of the total deaths involve two-wheelers. If the plan on paper is executed well, the helmet promises greater road safety and should reduce the number of these accident deaths.
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