I had posted earlier about the concepts behind smart helmets. I will expand on that with a fundamental design plan of a sensorhelmet. This project will start with a component list of the items that will comprise the sensor helmet. It breaks into 7 distinct category groups with sub components in most of those groups.
Category Groups descriptions of the sensor helmet design and requirements.
- Casing – This is the helmet. Every attempt will be made to embed the electronics. There will be some components that will be mounted externally. The integrity of the structure must provide protection to the rider in any event.
- Lighting – There will need to be headlamp, either fixed or removable for safe night operation. In addition, there will also need to be visibility lights either in the rear or sides of the helmet. These can be fixed or removable. The servicing of the lights should be considered in the design. Control of the lights should be accessible while riding without safety issues. The lighting will need to be resilient to the elements.
- Imaging – There will be a 808-X camera used as an action camera embedded inside the helmet. The lens assembly will be extended from the camera housing by means of cabling. The lens assembly will also include a wide field lens. In addition, the camera microphone will be extended from the housing and positioned to allow clear recordings of the surroundings and the rider. Operation of the action camera should be accessible. Indication of camera operation should be clear. Access to the data storage will need to be provided. The entire imaging system will need to be protected from the elements.
- Controller – The Arduino Pro Mini will be selected as the controller due to its small size and reliability. The controller will need to be protected from the elements. Accessibility to the programing port will need to be considered. This will allow system improvements through firmware updates. The controller should be programmed to use the least amount of power possible.
- Data Storage – Sensor data will be stored to a Sparkfun microSD OpenLog breakout. This board was also selected due to its small size. The board will need to be protected from the elements. Removal and installation of the data should be easy.
- Power – I’ve used portable USB power packs in the past. This type of power source has been reliable in all weather conditions. The power pack used in the past was a 5V 2Ah 800mA source. This well suited to provide power to a 808-16 action camera for 5 hours. The power requirements for the sensor helmet will be more demanding. Unfortunately, the cells pose a fire risk. The new power system will need to be safe but also provide the same features and reliability as the previous pack. Specs for the power requirements will be dictated by load components.
- Sensors – This is the main purpose of the helmet, to detect telemetry. One of the key functions of the helmet will be to plot the data points using GPS information. This will allow data to be layered on maps for route analysis. The imaging system will record 1280p 30fps video. Data points can also be overlaid the video for realtime analysis. The sensor groups can be sub divided into these catagories; Spatial (GPS, 3-Axis Tilt, Compass), Meteorological (Temperature, Humidity, Light, Barometric Pressure), Environmental (Dust, Sound, CO1, CO2, Methane), and finally Biometric (Heart Rate). These sensors will need to use the least amount of power possible.