Bengaluru engineer designs AC helmet to make bike rides comfortable
Riding bikes in the Indian summer is a tricky trade-off between suffocating under a helmet and risking death. Keeping this in mind, a Bengaluru-based mechanical engineer has created an air-conditioned helmet to make bike rides comfortable. Sandeep Dahiya went through eight different models over 4.5 years to arrive at the 'perfect product,' which he has named, 'Vatanukul.' Here is more about this cool invention.
A resident of RT Nagar, Dahiya developed Vatanukul at his home's garage-turned-workshop, The Times of India reported. Dahiya told the publication that Vatanukul works on DC power (12V), which is supplied by the bike's battery. He has been testing the air-conditioned headgear every day for a month while driving to UB City, where he works as a director with a multinational company.
According to TOI, Vatanukul has two parts- one is composed of rubber tubes to circulate air inside the helmet, and another wear-on unit (to be put on like a backpack), which includes a reverse thermocouple, heat exchanger, control and blower unit. The heat-exchanger component has a semiconductor, which can help increase or decrease the temperature to the rider's preference with a remote-like device.
Reportedly, Vatanukul weighs under 1.7 kg, which is slightly heavier than other helmets available in the market that weigh between 800 gm to 2 kg. The helmet is not connected to a power supply, and only has rubber tubes to provide cooling.
Dahiya said, "The sight of two-wheeler riders removing their helmets and putting them on the fuel tank of their vehicles while waiting at traffic signals drove me to design Vatanukul." He added, "I'm a rider myself. When the helmet's visor is closed, there's no air and it becomes suffocating, though it may be life-saving. So, I decided to come up with a user-friendly helmet."