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Headbanging. Safely.

Posted By John Latta On March 27, 2013 @ 12:53 pm In The Roadologist | No Comments

Woodpecker [1]They slam their heads into trees thousands of times a day. No brain damage and, as far as we know, no headaches. Woodpeckers.

Now industrial designer Anirudha Surabhi has created a new, super-strong bike helmet, which protects cyclists’ heads by mimicking features of the woodpecker’s distinctive anatomy. The woodpecker is not built like other birds; its head shape and structure protects it from those endless impacts as it searches for food in trees.

And so came the helmet from Surabhi [2]. He was inspired by the woodpecker, but only after he took a minor fall from his bike and found his helmet cracked.

I enjoy my woodpeckers. My back yard has a lot of Downey and some Hairy woodpeckers, quite a few Red Bellied woodpeckers and even the occasional Red Headed woodpecker and the Pileated. Still looking for the Red Cockaded because I know he’s out there, and for the Ivory Billed,  although I’m pretty sure he’s not. There are one or two smaller, lesser-known birds of the woodpecker clan like sapsuckers out there too. My suet feeder gives them  a really soft , silent target, but I hear them in the trees even if I can’t always see them.

For the next few weeks I’ll hear them and wonder why they didn’t inspire me to design a fortune-making bicycle helmet.

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[1] Image: http://www.equipmentworld.com/files/2013/03/Woodpecker.jpeg

[2] And so came the helmet from Surabhi: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130115-woodpecker-inspires-bike-helmet

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