Boffins develop cyclists' environmental sensor system

Up to now, bike computers have all been about speed, cadence and power...

by nick_rearden   November 7, 2011  

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology - NTUST

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A research team from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) has developed a sensor and display system that "significantly improves the safety and comfort of cyclists" but is compact enough to fit on a bicycle's handlebars.

The as-yet-unnamed system collects data from the rider's surroundings — temperature, humidity, ultraviolet rays and air quality — then processes it and if necessary issuing warnings or suggestions to the cyclist.

For example, the sensor system is able to flash a signal or "speak" - in Chinese currently - to remind the cyclist to ride in the shade when the weather is too hot, said associate professor Chang Hsien-chung, who led the research team.

According to Chang, "It can even spray mist over the cyclist’s face and torso to cool the cyclist down, or issue warnings when air quality is poor.

"These functions could be especially useful in places like Taiwan where cyclists are easily exhausted by strong ultraviolet rays and sweltering heat in the summer."

The proposed system has won a merit award in the Taiwan Ministry of Education-sponsored micro-computer research and development competition and is awaiting a patent from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Chang said.

In an addition that will feel more familiar to existing cyclists, the sensor system also helps users navigate safely at night. It comes with a special vest for the rider to wear equipped with flashing LED lights that indicate whether the cyclist is turning right or left, braking or slowing down.

If the system’s ultrasonic distance sensor detects an approaching car at night, it sets off the flashing LED lights as a warning to the motorist.

The system comes with two small batteries which store power from sunlight and, as the report in the Taipei Times puts it, "the friction created when pedalling."

5 user comments

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"Warning: Your black socks look wrong on those pasty legs"

"Attention: You just jumped a red light and all the nearby drivers think you are a knob"

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
7th November 2011 - 11:40

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Warning: Sugar levels low - stop for cake

andylul's picture

posted by andylul [406 posts]
7th November 2011 - 12:02

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Came across this the other day; the Uberhood - just what you need for those sweltering days in the UK http://uberhood.co/

Screen shot 2011-11-07 at 12.15.29.png

posted by nick_rearden [858 posts]
7th November 2011 - 13:17

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ok, so we desperately need a gadget that will tell us that we should look for shade because its sunny -.-

posted by DofeDome [23 posts]
7th November 2011 - 14:03

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Oh FFS! About as much use to mankind and benefit to the planet as Kinder egg toys. If they could come up with something that tells you there isn't a car around the next bend on a descent so you can use the whole road - now that would useful!

MercuryOne

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [929 posts]
7th November 2011 - 17:25

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