Fluid Inside head of product communication Mike Chiasson says the pods are filled with a low-viscous, organic, oil-based liquid that mimics the cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) around the brain.
It apparently disperses the impact in a crash to isolate the brain from crashing into the skull.
Such impacts have been known to cause serious brain damage.
However, the pods may also protect riders from memory loss, vision impairment and even Parkinson’s Disease by protecting the brain from the small and frequent impacts riders may cop when riding over bumpy surfaces or off-road.
The pods could be integrated into a helmet at production or inserted as an aftermarket addition to the lining.
They could also be used in other helmets for other sports such as cycling.
There soon may be another state in the US that allows adults to choose for themselves whether they wear a motorcycle helmet or not.
Missouri recently voted to repeal both its helmet and abortion laws, although the former is yet to be signed off by the Governor.
If it does, there will be 19 states with motorcycle helmet laws for all riders.
They are: Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.
Only Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire have no helmet use law.
The remaining states have varying laws requiring minors to wear a motorcycle helmet while six of those states require adults to have $10,000 in insurance and wear a helmet in their first year of riding.
Adult riders are varyingly considered 18 or 21. Missouri says riders over 18 should be all.owed to decide on helmet use.
There has been a steady move toward liberalising US helmet laws in recent years.
But here’s an interesting example.
In 1977 Texas moved from a universal helmet law to an adult helmet option like Missouri wants.
There followed a 35% increase in motorcycle fatalities. Texas reinstated its universal helmet law in 1989 and deaths dropped by 11%. The law makers changed their minds yet again in 1997 to cover only riders younger than 21 and deaths leapt 31%.
As Dudley (William H Macy) tells Woody (John Travolta) in “Wild Hogs”: “62% vof all motorcycle fatalities could be prevented with the use of an approved DOT helmet.”
Brayden Robinson, who founded the venture with this father, Scott, says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needed to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.
“Just over 72% (of survey respondents) said they would be prepared to pay for the scanning service once a year or after every accident and some even said twice a year,” he says.
“We’ve had both really positive and negative feedback from people which is all very helpful.
“AusIndustry commercialisation advisors told us that if we received 100 responses it would be good, 200 would be convincing and 300 would be conclusive.
“Well, we’ve now had more than 430 respondents and the survey is still open.”
The scanning service has stalled while the Federal Government is in caretaker mode, but Brayden and Scott are confident even a change in government will not affect funding.
Crash starts study
Scott and Brayden began researching a helmet scanning system after Brayden was hospitalised with a fractured skull from a motocross crash.
They developed their device with the help of a Belgian company and the Composites Research Group in the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering at The University of Queensland.
“We found this laser scanning technique can categorically guarantee that, if there is any damage to the helmet’s outer shell, our technique will identify it. It’s ground-breaking, proven science,” Scott says.
The Helmet Doctors have a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application that allows them to enter their patent application into any of 152 jurisdictions by 23 June 2020.
At present the application has been examined by the international PCT body and all but one claim has been found to be novel over identified existing technology.
Manufacturing safety standards say a composite helmet has a lifespan of five years and, if used frequently, about three years.
But what if you drop it or have a crash?
“We have all heard how if you drop your helmet once you should replace it. But very few do this,” Scott says.
“No one knows how much impact a composite helmet can tolerate before the shell is critically weakened.
“Composite materials have many layers and tiny fibres that can be damaged in a fall.
“The impact energy is dispersed among the fibres and away from the brain which it is designed to do.
“This is why a dropped helmet may still look ok.
“However, the impact could have led to a small crack or splintering which you can’t see with the naked eye.
“Our device can view, read and record the helmet 100,000 times better than the naked eye and find if there are any cracks, splintering or deformations which would make the helmet defective and unable to withstand another impact.”
Helmet scanning scheme
The Helmet Doctors plan to test their service first in South East Queensland.
Riders would take their helmet to a participating motorcycle dealer where they would leave it and pick it up a few days later.
The helmet would be sent to the nearest scanner depot where it would be scanned, assessed and returned.
Scott says the Federal Government is considering some funding for the safety service but needs to know if it would be well received by riders, racers and the motorcycle industry.
“As you could imagine this experimental laser camera is very expensive, but our goal is to make this service accessible and cheap enough for everyone to use it,” Scott says.
If the project is successful, they hope to extend the service to other states and overseas.
A British company has claimed it will unveil the smartest augmented-reality helmet yet at the London Bike Show in September 2019.
Apart from the usual intercom with phone capabilities, it will also feature a GPS, music streaming, heads-up display, photochromic visor, LED brake light, crash warning system, a 360-degree camera and “A whole host of other features”.
Adam Wilson from the Resolve Group contacted us recently about the helmet after we published an article about a patent pending on a full-length airbag suit.
He said they would also have their full-length airbag suit at the bike show, along with the helmet and another product which they have not yet revealed.
“We are not looking for funding as we have invested our own funds into the projects,” he says.
“The helmets are being made as we speak. The suits will start to be manufactured in a few weeks.”
Visorcat is made of rubber with a webbing strap that goes around your hand.
There is a rubber loop to go over your finger or thumb, a reservoir for the provided visor wash and two 75mm-long (3”) windscreen-wiper-style blades that sit on the back of your hand, below the knuckle.
Underneath the blades is a sponge.
You wipe right to left to remove rainwater with the double rubber wiper blades.
If your visor is dirty and needs a wash first, you wipe left to right.
The curved edge of the wiper flap pulls back automatically to reveal the sponge underneath which is moistened by the supplied washing liquid.
There’s a wick connecting the sponge to the reservoir to keep it moist.
Make sure the sponge is wet to start with and the reservoir is full.
Due to the favourable response from many readers, we have decided to stock this safety product in our shop.
Click here to buy now. The washer/wiper with a bottle of liquid is $99, the touring pack with extra liquid and sponges is $115 and the refill pack with a bottle of liquid and three sponges is $24.95. Postage is extra.
I was initially quite sceptical of this product. It looked cumbersome and, frankly, a bit ridiculous.
However, it’s easy to fit over your left glove and tighten with the strap to stay in place.
Once in place you can hardly feel it’s there and it doesn’t in any way limit your clutch hand movement.
I also thought it would be a nuisance every time I took my glove off or put it on, but it actually stays in place, so there’s no need to remove it.
If you do want to remove it, just undo the strap and it comes off in a second.
The wiper blades are great for quickly and effectively wiping rainwater off your visor.
On wide visors you may have to wipe up to three times to cover the whole field of vision, but generally one wipe will clear enough of the visor for good vision.