Inflatable helmets have been introduced to provide sufficient protection and prevent injuries for motorcyclists
Each year nearly 1.2 million people die because of road crashes, and millions more are injured or disabled. Keeping in view that the traditional helmets do not offer sufficient protection to prevent injuries, a team from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee has developed an Inflatable Safety Helmet.
Beneficial than traditional helmets
The traditional helmets do not offer sufficient protection to prevent injuries and are known for hindering agility and reducing the responsiveness of the rider. Traditional helmets are not much capable of reducing the peak acceleration, which can lead to more severe injuries.
The inflatable helmet is equipped with sensors to measure parameters such as acceleration, lean angle, velocity etc. to detect impact or collision. As soon as the impact is detected 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.
Testing new helmet
The team conducted Impact tests under standard testing conditions for helmets on mathematical models. The results indicate that inflatable safety helmets are capable of manifold reduction in the peak acceleration after impact created by the collision. The force which is experienced by the dummy head is found to be reduced by four times and falls far below the force experienced in case of conventional helmets. An inflatable airbag helmet reduces the head injury.
The idea of inflatable helmet emerged while the team was working on inflatable space antenna at ISRO during their internship. As this helmet is being developed for the first time in India they got very limited help from any external source and our learning curve was very steep. The results obtained are very encouraging and they are working towards converting this idea into a reality.
The product has been conceptualized and tested for effectiveness and feasibility, and it has shown positive results. But for mass production, team need more diligence from their side and industry support. So still they are working to make it consumer- friendly. They are also looking for industrial partnerships so that the product turns out to be cost-effective and user-friendly.