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If you ride a bike, you probably share the road with a lot of cars. Unfortunately, they don’t always share the road very well with you. [Mech Tools] took a helmet, a few Arduinos, and some wireless transceivers and made headgear that shows when you stop and also shows turn signals. We were a little surprised, though, that the bike in question looks like a motorcycle. In most countries, motorcycle helmets meet strict safety standards and modifying them is probably not a good idea. However, it wasn’t exactly clear how the extra gear attached to the helmet, so it is hard to say if the project is very practical or not.

In particular, it looks as though the first version had the electronics just stuck to the outside of the helmet. The final one had things mounted internally and almost certainly had cuts or holes made for the lights. We aren’t sure which of those would be more likely to be a problem in the case of an accident.

However, as a concept, we liked the idea. It made us wonder if you could do the same thing to something a little less critical like a motorcycle jacket. After all, we’ve seen a lot of wearable gear lately.

We’ve seen similar projects before. Of course, it is probably safer and easier to add lights to the bike itself.




Worse for Wear is a clothing company  for women who ride motorcycles. The fascinating clothing they produce is very fashionable, comfortable, and needs to protect riders from impact and abrasion if they have an accident. Jackets and trousers have knee and hip pads  included to protect the rider when sliding many meters across asphalt. That’s why the fabric must be strong and abrasion resistant because if the fabric wears away too quickly, the rider’s skin will be exposed and injured.

To choose the perfect fabric, Scott and Laura, co-founders of the company, created an Impact Abrasion Resistance Testing Machine running on Arduino Uno to perform tests on different materials like knit fabrics, woven fabrics, and leather, to see how long it takes before the material is sanded completely through. I interviewed them to learn more about it!


- What is the impact abrasion resistance testing machine and how does it work?

When selecting fabric to use in our clothes, we have to make sure that it is strong and abrasion resistant. We use the impact abrasion resistance test machine to determine which fabrics will withstand abrasion (scraping and sliding) the best. It is important to us to test the fabrics ourselves and not rely solely on the claims of fabric manufacturers.


The machine has a weighted arm, like a hammer, suspended above an abrasive belt sander. A sample of the fabric that we want to test is wrapped around the head of the hammer and then dropped onto the moving sanding belt. An Arduino Uno is used to record the amount of time it takes to sand through the fabric sample.

Check the video below to see how it works:

- Why did you decide to use Arduino?

We have used Lilypad Arduino and Arduino Uno before to prototype some e-textile projects, so it was easy for us to get started on this one with our previous experience. The large number of accessory boards available made it simple to add an informational display and user interface to the machine. In just a few hours, we were able to very quickly create a machine to compare the abrasion resistance of a variety of fabric samples. The simplicity of working with Arduino was a very good choice for us, because our real business is creating clothing, not building test machines!

- What does Arduino control in the machine? 

An Arduino Uno is used to record the amount of time it takes to sand through the fabric sample. The method we use is based on European Union standards for motorcycle safety gear testing. To measure the fabric’s abrasion time, we use two thin copper wires (magnet wire). One wire is placed inside and another outside of the fabric sample before everything is wrapped around the head of the hammer. Each wire is then connected to ground on one end and an to input pin on the Arduino on the other end. The pins are in INPUT_PULLUP mode so a current runs through them. The LCD display on the Arduino tells us when both wires are connected properly.

Then, we start the belt sander and drop the hammer onto the spinning sanding belt. The outer wire breaks very quickly, breaking the connection to that pin [ digitalRead(outerWireIn) == HIGH ]. At this point, the Arduino records the start time. When the fabric wears through – usually within a couple of seconds – the inner wire is exposed to the sanding belt and quickly breaks. That marks the end time, which the Arduino records and displays on the LCD shield. A single type of fabric must be tested at least five times in order to make sure our recorded times are accurate.

Explore the details and download the code on Worse for Wear blog.


motorcycle camera mountIf you’ve ever watched MotoGP (motorcycle) racing, you might have wondered how the camera appears to stay level even while the bike turns left and right, nearly becoming horizontal. Saftari was curious about this himself and, rather than simply answering the question, he built a gyroscopic camera rig that allows the camera […]

Read more on MAKE

The post Motorcycle Gyromount Always Delivers Perfect Video appeared first on Make:.


Scooterputer, the all-in-one scooter computer

arduino, arduino hacks, carputer, motorcycle, scooter, transportation hacks Commenti disabilitati su Scooterputer, the all-in-one scooter computer 


We’ve seen a fair share of carputer builds involving a Raspberry Pi in the last few months, but even the power of a Raspi can’t compete with the awesomeness of this Arduino-powered scooterputer.

Like all awesome projects, this build is the product of a massive case of feature creep. Initially, [Kurt] only wanted a voltage monitor for his battery. With an  Arduino Duemilanove, a voltage divider, and an evening of coding, [Kurt] whipped up a simple device with three LEDs to indicate the status of the batter: either low, good, or charging.

The project was complete until he ran across an awesome OLED screen. Using a touch screen display for just battery monitoring is a bit overkill, so [Kurt] made a trip over to Sparkfun and got his hands on a temperature sensor, real-time clock, accelerometer, GPS sensor, and even a cellular shield.

The resulting scooterputer is a masterpiece of in-vehicle displays: there’s a digital speedometer and GPS unit, and the cellular shield works as a tracking device and a way to download real-time maps of the scooter’s current location with itouchmap.

While the majority of the electronics are hidden under the hood of the scooter, the display of course needed to be out in the weather. To do this, [Kurt] found a nice enclosure with a rubber boot that perfectly fit the OLED display. The display is connected to the Arduino with a cat5 cable, and everything should hold up pretty well as long as [Kurt] doesn’t drive through a hurricane.

You can check out a video of the scooterputuer below.

Filed under: Arduino Hacks, transportation hacks

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