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Updated: Byxee pothole detector seeks crowd funding

Video device designed to warn of possible hazards ahead

A video device called Byxee that warns you of holes, bumps and obstacles in the road ahead will seek funding on Indiegogo next month. 

Byxee uses a video camera to scan the road ahead of you and detect possible hazards. When it spots something, the Byxee emits an audio alarm, giving you time to take appropriate action to avoid damage to either yourself or your bike. You get one beep for low danger, two beeps for medium danger, and three beeps for high danger.

You can set the Byxee to scan anywhere from 15 to 25 metres ahead. If you’re riding at 25km/h (16.6mph), for example, you’ll cover 25 metres in 3.6 seconds. If you’re riding at 15km/h (9.4mph) you’ll cover 25 metres in 6 seconds. That’s the amount of time you’ll have to hear the signal and react.

The Italian designers say that the Byxee stays silent when you’re in a group of cyclists and starts scanning when the road ahead is open.

“Byxee concept is the consequence of bad injuries and very expensive bike repairs I had to face when [I fell off] my bicycle because of a pothole on the road,” says Byxee inventor Riccardo Ricci (not to be confused with former racer Riccardo Ricco).

“Together with my team we develop digital detection algorithms used all over the world. We now dedicate our effort and know-how to develop a device for cyclists using our intelligent vision technology.”

The Byxee has seven sensitivity settings and two different scan settings: narrow field and large field. It measures 9cm x 4cm x 2.5cm and weighs 70g. The battery life is a claimed 35h and it’s USB rechargeable.

Byxee's Indiegogo campaign starts on 18 May. The retail price will probably be US$250-270, but prices on Indiegogo will start from US$140.

For more info go to www.byxee.com

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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22 comments

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kie7077 | 8 years ago
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This is rubbish from a technical standpoint, if you have difficulty seeing a pothole because it's dark or because of dappled light then the sensor is not going to see it either.

Visual object recognition is a notoriously difficult software problem to crack - it hasn't been done yet to a high level of accuracy in all lighting conditions. Put simply it won't be able to tell the difference between a black mark on the road and a pothole or a plastic bag.

If you were going to build a device to detect potholes, it'd likely be better to scan the area ahead with some kind of radar or lidar.

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DaveE128 replied to kie7077 | 8 years ago
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kie7077 wrote:

This is rubbish from a technical standpoint, if you have difficulty seeing a pothole because it's dark or because of dappled light then the sensor is not going to see it either.

Visual object recognition is a notoriously difficult software problem to crack - it hasn't been done yet to a high level of accuracy in all lighting conditions. Put simply it won't be able to tell the difference between a black mark on the road and a pothole or a plastic bag.

If you were going to build a device to detect potholes, it'd likely be better to scan the area ahead with some kind of radar or lidar.

+1.

Knowing how hard it is for anyone to make a system that reliably recognises anything in a CCTV image, I am absolutely confident that this system will be massively inferior to the human eye in any conditions you care to mention. Some kind of radar or lidar would be far more feasible, but even then, the processing required to automatically identify potholes would be a real challenge, not least when the road is not flat and straight.

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Batchy | 8 years ago
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Now if the government were to issue these devices to all cyclists for free they would save billions not having to fix the roads. See, it just needs a bit Tory venture capitalism to sort out the deficit !

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edster99 | 8 years ago
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Sometimes in dappled light, seeing a pothole is a bit tricky. but all in all I still agree with DamienB.

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madhouse | 8 years ago
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What that needs is a bluetooth connection to the riders phone to automatically report potholes on the Fill That Hole app and of course post the pothole details to Facebook  4

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DamienB | 8 years ago
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If you cannot see potholes/speed bumps/cats then you should not be riding a bike.
If you cannot see how utterly pointless this is then you should not be riding a bike.
And for that reason, I'm sorry, but I'm out...

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gazza_d | 8 years ago
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Should do a bundle deal with the pedi-scope.

Both pointless bit of crap that weirdly complement each other

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Beatnik69 | 8 years ago
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Once we've added all the pothole finders, pediscopes, super-duper, all singing-all dancing lights etc to our super lightweight bikes they will be too heavy to propel.

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Kadinkski | 8 years ago
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I had a brilliant idea when out on a GF on the weekend. Its powdered water that comes in a sachet and when it interacts with air it turns back into water.

So rather than carrying all that extra weight in your water bottles you can just grab a couple of powdered water sachets, then mix with air when needed.

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The _Kaner replied to Kadinkski | 8 years ago
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Kadinkski wrote:

I had a brilliant idea when out on a GF on the weekend. Its powdered water that comes in a sachet and when it interacts with air it turns back into water.

So rather than carrying all that extra weight in your water bottles you can just grab a couple of powdered water sachets, then mix with air when needed.

being a Scotsman and living in Ireland, we don't need that powdered variety ...we get this 'moisture' in our air already..it's in abundance- especially at this time oo year...or any for that matter...there is also a technical name ...I'm sure it's called 'rain'...or something similar....

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kraut replied to Kadinkski | 8 years ago
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Powdered water? You'd have to keep hydrogen awfully cold for it to stay solid...and that will need heavy gear.

Gaseous hydrogen, on the other hand, is lighter than air, so if we ignore the drag factor of lots of enormous balloons tied to your bike, it'll actually help you on climbs  3

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The _Kaner | 8 years ago
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I have a kickstarter/crowd funded project in mind

...combining a 'similar' product as this, with a 'pedi-scope' device, Google Glass and an eyepatch for the 'other eye'...the 'new two wheeled form of transport' that it interacts with will be called a 'bye-bye cycle'.
It comes with a free wraparound 'safety jacket' and for ultimate safety it also comes with a padded room.
Any takers/backers interested...??

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edster99 | 8 years ago
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I use a bike to detect potholes. Very effective.  1

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purplemadwoman | 8 years ago
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Looks like an old Star Trek spaceship!  3

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Leeroy_Silk | 8 years ago
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I'm sure Wanksy will be interested in hearing about this...

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ronin | 8 years ago
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Oh yea Oh yea...road.cc users have spoken! Next!

Feels like dragons den in here  21

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jacknorell | 8 years ago
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 7  41  39  35  103  24

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kcr | 8 years ago
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It feels like every other product story on road.cc now opens with a reference to crowd funding.
Why are these fantastic inventions not being snapped up by conventional manufacturers...?

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Masterchief | 8 years ago
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If you update your firmware, you may use the integrated device for the same purpose, called "eyes".

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mooseman | 8 years ago
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Another gadget that no-one needs, what's wrong with looking where you are going?

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Ants | 8 years ago
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It would just be a constant beep on some roads around here. Perhaps the local councils should seek crowd funding to fill in potholes - or have a form of local tax that covers roads etc.  4

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Bez | 8 years ago
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Why?

WHY?!

Has the hour record actually reached the point where there's now only blind people left to do it?

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