Safer polo helmets.
Following several accidents during polo matches last year that resulted in head injuries the protection given by the standard polo helmet came into question. Earlier this year Robin Spicer, a Design and Technology undergraduate from Loughborough University, designed a prototype helmet that utilizes technology to produce an ‘intelligent’ polo helmet.
The prototype for a safer polo helmet – complete with a built-in crash sensor – could save lives by alerting emergency responders to impacts and falls that may cause head injuries.
Robin Spicer, 23, from Northamptonshire, has already attracted the attention of leading market retailers and manufacturers with his polo helmet redesign – the ARMIS™ Polo Helmet.
The unique design contains a ‘crash sensor’ which will link to a smartphone app via long range bluetooth. His overall 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 was created using a 3D printer and developed for production, comprising of 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.
Robin, a polo player since the age of six, 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. Robin was awarded a £350 bursary from the James Dyson Foundation to help bring his project to life as part of his end of year degree show.
“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.
“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.”
[Please note: Ryan has not tested this product and it is not endorsed by him]