Reimagining Bicycle Safety Gear

Problem and Process

Gideon Hamot

For most people, bicycle gear is either fashionable or functional. The Turn Signal Patch aimed to bridge this gap, helping people be safe on a bicycle with something that people could wear while at the same time being fashionable.

Coming into the studio, both team members knew how to do programing, but first they had to learn how to sew. This was made by making a magnetic wristband, to keep sewing needles from scattering. Sometime while doing this, they settled on the idea of making blinking arrows. These could be put on a shirt and used as turn signals for bikers. In two days they made a working model of an arrow.

However, something went wrong. When the arrow was turned on, the lights only lit up in a weak red color. The fault was eventually traced to a faulty soldering connection somewhere, but there were over 30 soldering connections, and it was impossible to tell where the fault was. They ended up having to resolder all the connections. After that, a replica was made to go on the other side, and a pouch was made to hold both arrows. ,That ended up having its own problems: somehow, a pair of pliers got sewn into the fabric. After 45 minutes of trying to untangle the pliers, the team decided to just cut the wires and try again.

After that, the lights were quickly programmed to work with 2 switches, and it ended up working. Had we had more time, we might have sewn it into a shirt, but for now, it worked, and that's more then most projects here can say.

Prototype of Turn Signal Gloves

William Truslow

When asked to brainstorm ideas about reinvented bicycle gear, I came up with the basis for my project, gloves that function as turn signals. The idea was to have a glove wired so that when the index finger and thumb touch together, lights around the wrist illuminate, signifying that the wearer intends to turn. I have designed a partially working prototype that is displayed in the attatched images. I began by sewing a little pad on the thumb utilizing multiple layers of a conductive thread. I then sewed down the length of the thumb with the same thread, down to the wrist, and around to the back where I sewed on a AAA battery holder. I then used more thread to sew on the holder from the other side. At this point I switched to a smaller thread that proved to be much easier to work with. The original thread I was working with proved difficult to thread through the needle, often splitting and fraying at the end. I used the thinner thread to connect the + side of the battery holder to the + side of a small LED light also located on the back of the wrist. I then sewed a small pad of conductive thread on the index finger of the glove, and like I had done with the thumb, I sewed down the length of the finger and to the wrist. From there I sewed around to the other side where I connected the thread to the - side of the LED. The LED now illuminates when the two fingers touch, however it doesnt always work. I hope to expand upon this and use fiberoptic cables to add brightness to the glove, thus making it easier to see by motorists. For future versions of this project, I would use a tighter knit or a woven glove. The problem is that the conductive threads I was using weren't as flexible as the material of the glove, the threads came loose in multiple places on the glove as a result and could lead to lack of functionality altogether. 

| Final | Cklara: The Reflective Robot Flower

Emily E. Smith

Cklara, the Safety First Robotic Flower
Safely Reflecting beauty, one cyclist at a time.

Cklara has been designed to be a safety aid accessory for a cyclist.  It is a designed to open and close in a slow manner; this adds an animated effect while also yielding additional time to grab more spectators’ attention.  The final product is made of Lexan, and moves via a single Arduino and Servo, along with multiple segments of fishing line.  The base has a layer of electrical tape on the outside, thus creating a smoothed, yet secure, texture to the box.  Both the shape of the flower and the base, were moulded by hand.

The flower’s movement was inspired by the mechanics of muscle.  Muscles can only do two things, contract and relax, and it are these functions that make everyday movement possible.  So while experimenting with various techniques of movement, I came to the decision it was the most accurate and clean way to make the flower move like a muscle.  There are multiple segments of fishing line attached to each petal, that are then connected to an arm on the Servo.  The Servo is connected to a previously programmed Arduino, which is then connected to a battery pack.  The base is a cube shape, with one side that is able to open and close for easy access to the Servo, Arduino and bottom of the flower.  This battery pack then in tucked away into a pocket below Cklara.  The cyclist has been imagined to secure the base, using the three large safety pins, onto his or her backpack.

All of Cklara is decorated with various forms of spray paint.  The petals have multiple layers of day-glow, florescent pink, spray paint; along with two layers of reflective spray paint.  This way the petals have a day-glow effect, while also being useful when the light from headlights hit the accessory.  The base, that has a layer of black electrical tape, and on top of that is a small misting of day-glow, florescent pink, spray paint; along with reflective spray paint.  This way even the base will reflect.  

On top of the elaborate safety paint applied to Cklara, there was also a UV LED added to the centre of the main flower.  It is angled to illuminate the inside of the flower for three reasons.  First, to add more illumination on the cyclist, second to illuminate the florescent pink even more, and thirdly, it is angled in such a way that the, highly optical sensitive, UV LED does not get into fellow road patron’s vision and skew their line of sight.  It is important to keep everyone safe on the roads.  

Remember, cyclists are everywhere.



Turn signal gloves: final version

William Truslow

On wednesday, I conducted a final experiment before commencing the assembly of the finished gloves. Due to the durability of the fabric on the palms and fingertips of the gloves, sewing the little conductive patches on would be too difficult a task. I opted to glue the patches on instead. Because the fishbowl had two kinds of glue I ran a simple test by gluing 4 small pieces of fabric to a larger sheet of fabric, two for glue number 1 and two for glue number 2. One of the samples for each kind had an abundance of glue applied and the other had a much smaller amount applied. After letting each sample dry overnight, I determined that the sample that had a large amount of glue number 2 applied was the best choice for the gloves. I then began sewing the components to the gloves. I first sewed on the battery holder with conductive thread and then sewed one of the - ports to the - sides of 5 small LEDs using the same thread. Next, using a new piece of thread, I sewed the + sides of all the LEDs down. Once I this was finished, I sewed up from the back of the glove and up the back of the index finger. Throughout this whole step I was using a newer sewing technique that involved sewing in a spiraling motion making small stitches. This proved to be far more effective than my previous technique and held the thread in place better than before.Once I had reached the tip of the Index finger I used the rest of the thread and sewed into a small patch of conductive thread that Tess was kind enough to make for me. Once the patch was threaded I sewed from the + port on the battery holder up the thumb of the glove just as I had done with the index finger. When I had reached the tip I threaded another patch. I then applied glue number 2 to both patches and adhered them to the tips of each finger. I then repeated that whole process on the other glove and after leaving the gloves to dry overnight, I was done.

Final: Metal Head Jacket and Bracelet

Madeleine Kulke

This project was based on creating an intersection between safety and fashion in the world of biking gear. Although bicycles are an environmentally friendly, trendy form of transportation, they have their challenges. The lack of security surrounding a bicycle in the event of a crash leads many bikers to wear reflective clothing in order to be easily visible to oncoming traffic. The fashionable options for reflecitve clothing, however, are not currently plentiful. In order to keep biking popular and attractive, designers need to find a way to make reflective clothing attractive and fun, as well as wearable in other situations (ex: going to work after a biking commute).

In this studio, we worked to create a cool denim vest that would appeal to fans of heavy metal rock, as well as some accesories for it such as a bracelet. Complete with spikes and blood-red symbols, our vest appears to be an attractive, hip outerwear option for casual settings. The top-notch biking safety features hidden all over the Jakcet are less obvious. The spikes are actually made from reflective material that glows brightly when lit by a headlight, and the row of lights powered by a hidden arduino are an excellent way to be seen from far away on the road.