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

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TRON!

posted by Lifer [18 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:14

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

posted by barkingfishes [18 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:46

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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

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posted by andybwhite [180 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:59

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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 - 12:00

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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.

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posted by joemmo [788 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 12:30

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Looks very cool, at least...

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

posted by notfastenough [3075 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:36

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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 [118 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:01

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Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Shay

posted by shay cycles [220 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:07

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shay cycles wrote:
Can't Really Avoid Potholes

Wink

Swerve hurriedly in time!

posted by merckxissimo [59 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:18

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Theory/ design innovation- good

Practicality- bad

Chance of going into production- zero

Chiggety check yourself before you wreck yourself

posted by therealsmallboy [85 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:41

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

Wink

Swerve hurriedly in time!

Cant understand not turning?

posted by farrell [1390 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 15:22

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

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

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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 [1112 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 16:34

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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.

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posted by Ghedebrav [1073 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 17:56

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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.


Leviathan of Riderstate

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posted by bikeboy76 [1238 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 21:50

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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 [117 posts]
5th June 2013 - 3:24

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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 [230 posts]
5th June 2013 - 8:51

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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 - 1:40

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