Lumigrids LED projector maps out rough roads

Clattering through potholes at night could be a thing of this past with this LED projector that warns of hazards

by David Arthur   June 3, 2013  

Lumigrids is a smart LED system that projects a square grid into your path to help you search out hazards by looking for changes in the grid. When riding along a rough road the small grids will deform and make it easier to spot and avoid potholes, sunken drain covers, cracks and over hazards you don’t want to cycle over.

It’s an interesting design and picked up the Red Dot Design Award for ‘Best of the Best 2012’, an international award for design innovation. Ride at night time and spotting the myriad of hazards with even very bright cycle lights can be challenging. Regular lights cast shadows and don’t always pick out potholes until it’s too late.

The designers behind Lumigrids wanted to improve night riding safety: "It can be difficult for night cyclists to get a good sense of the condition of the terrain ahead, even with a typical bicycle lamp. In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider's judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger.”

Lumigrids is a small device that clamps to the handlebar and can emit a variety of grid sizes. The normal setting displays a 140 x 180mm (5.5 x 7.1-inch) grid. The light also acts as a regular light, showing you presence to other road users.

It reminds us of the Blaze, an LED that projects a green symbol of a cyclist onto the Tarmac ahead of you to warn other road users' that you're there. We think Lumigrids has better practical use, if it really can help to pick out potholes and the like. 

Lumigrids was developed by researchers from the Sichuan University in China. We hope it does go into production because we think it has genuine potential. We’d certainly like to try it out to see how it performs.

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

TRON!

posted by Lifer [19 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 10:14

4 Likes

Every journey would be like you're in Tron. Love it.

posted by barkingfishes [18 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 10:46

3 Likes

Err.. wouldn't you have to be going at like... 1 mph to stand any chance of reacting to the potholes etc?
Not very practical as shown - who gives these awards out Confused

andybwhite's picture

posted by andybwhite [204 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 10:59

3 Likes

Looks amazing, could have done with it in the early hours of yesterday whilst doing the Dawn Raid sportive, hit a few nasty potholes en route to London.

posted by matdicko [8 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:00

2 Likes

Another case of 'looks great on paper but..' or more precisely, 'looks great in a 3d render. How can this win a design award when it hasn't even been prototyped in the real world? I despair.

The quote " In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider's judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger" is a load of tosh - it's the light and shade that shows the relief of the ground

Apart from issues around construction, lenses, power supply etc the major flaw I can see is that using a grid projection to highlight terrain will only be really effective if it is projected vertically downwards and viewed at an angle – for example if the projector was mounted on an arm extending out from the bike, which is obviously impractical.

If the projection is coming from almost the same point as the viewer sees it then it’s really no more beneficial than a handlebar mounted light at showing the relief on the ground . You’d probably get a more effective view just from a light mounted at axle height on the front wheel.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [875 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:30

4 Likes

Looks very cool, at least...

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3401 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 12:36

3 Likes

If you are looking at the road immediately in front, you are not looking far enough down the road and be able to respond in good time.

Unsafe if you ask me.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:01

2 Likes

Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Shay

posted by shay cycles [242 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:07

2 Likes

shay cycles wrote:
Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Swerve hurriedly in time!

posted by merckxissimo [59 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:18

1 Like

Theory/ design innovation- good

Practicality- bad

Chance of going into production- zero

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [88 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:41

3 Likes

merckxissimo wrote:
shay cycles wrote:
Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Swerve hurriedly in time!

Cant understand not turning?

posted by farrell [1546 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:22

5 Likes

it needs to adjust according to speed. At 30kph you're getting <0.5s of warning

benjam's picture

posted by benjam [16 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 15:06

5 Likes

Like it. Weren't there those spoke lights that could make you look like the Tron cycles? Combined you could make some very confused 30-40 year olds.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1184 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 15:34

5 Likes

Thought I'd pop on here, comment something to do with Tron and leave fellow road.cc-ers thinking 'what a witty fellow!'. Oh well.

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1102 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 16:56

7 Likes

I'll just use my eyes in fantastic stereo vision to look out for these mysterious convex pot holes(or rock I think they call them.)

Looks cool but design fail.



I am stronger than Mensa, Miller and Mailer, I spat out Plath and Pinter.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1376 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 20:50

4 Likes

farrell wrote:
merckxissimo wrote:
shay cycles wrote:
Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Swerve hurriedly in time!

Cant understand not turning?

Being Overly Lighted Leads Obviously Cautious Keepers

posted by Cauld Lubter [121 posts]
5th June 2013 - 2:24

4 Likes

Looks fun. I find that two lights up front gives much more information about the condition of the road surface, depth of potholes etc. I've never used a helmet mounted light but suspect that this would add even more perspective.

posted by FMOAB [237 posts]
5th June 2013 - 7:51

3 Likes

Obviously none of the judges have ever ridden a bike in the dark.

Well, I'll be...

posted by Zebra [27 posts]
10th June 2013 - 0:40

4 Likes