A university student in the UK has developed a 'smart' polo helmet - with a built-in crash sensor - that could save lives by alerting emergency responders to impacts and falls that may cause head injuries.
Robin Spicer, 23, a final year Industrial Design and Technology student at Loughborough University, developed the polo helmet which contains a 'crash sensor' which will be linked to a smartphone app via long range bluetooth.
Spicer's aim is to develop the technology to alert emergency responders to falls and impacts that may require medical attention due to unseen, non-tangible concussions, as well as sending GPS coordinates of where the incident has occurred when the rider is training alone.
The prototype ARMIS Polo Helmet was created using a 3D printer and developed for production, comprising a crumple zone made of expanded polystyrene, a flexible peak, and a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) that moves inside the helmet mimicking the brain's own protection system.
The low friction layer reduces the amount of rotational acceleration to the head and minimises the risk of suffering a serious brain injury.
Spicer said the helmet has been designed with the British Standards in mind, incorporating safety clips, streamlined air vents and a double layered carbon fibre shell to prevent penetrations.
"With my polo helmet design, I hope to change attitudes and behaviour towards safety in the sport and encourage polo players to seek proper medical attention when suffering a dangerous head impact," Spicer said.
"Even though the rate of injury in polo is low, the severity rate is extremely high. If I can influence other manufacturers and companies to have a re-think about the design of their polo helmets and look at making them safer, then I have achieved my goal," he said.