The inspiration for HelmLit was increasing cyclist safety. Cyclists often lack a sense of security, particularly while biking during the night as a result of low visibility. HelmLit aims to increase cyclist security by eliminating the issue of low visibility in affecting the ability of drivers determining the direction in which a cyclist is moving. In addition to this, we wanted to make helmets "cool" again to encourage more children to wear them. Through inspiration from the fit-bit, we decided to create an app which would track time and helmet usage allowing children to compete and set goals. In addition to this, we also believe that this would encourage the kids to use a helmet and protect themselves through their own will.
What it does
HelmLit is a bike helmet which has LED lights on the back of it. Therefore, during the night when cyclist needs to turn, instead of solely relying on hand signals which cannot be seen, a cyclist can press a button on their handle bar to indicate the direction in which they are turning. The purpose of this is to increase the safety of cyclists and prevent cyclist accidents in a cost effective manner.
How I built it
We built our project through the use of hardware and software. The hardware aspect consisted of using a breadboard to connect two buttons and nine LED bulbs which lit up in groups of three and represented going left, straight and right. It was then connected to an arduino which allowed us to complete the code portion of our project. We coded the arduino to light the three middle bulbs to represent the bike going straight. For when the bike was turning left we coded a function which ran when the button on the left was pressed and resulted in the three bulbs on the left lighting up. When the button on the left was pressed a second a time the bulbs on the left would turn off and the bulbs in the center would light up again (this represented the cyclist going straight). The same thing was then coded for turning right.
Challenges I ran into
The largest challenge we ran into was attempting to use the raspberry pi in order to use bluetooth signals to control the LED lights. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in our attempts and the raspberry pi would not connect to the arduino. Therefore, we decided to use a cable instead.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Accomplishments that we are proud of are coming up with an idea which targets a real issue, overcoming challenges and creating a working final product.
What I learned
We learned many new things. We learned about the hardware aspect of hacking which consisted of arduinos and raspberry pis. Through our mentors we were able to learn and attempt many new things which we would have been incapable of doing on our own.
What's next for HelmLit
In the future we would like to add another set of LED lights which light up when a cyclist is about to stop. We would also like to attempt connecting the arduino and raspberry pi through bluetooth.