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Saving Miners' Lives with the Arduino Smart Working Helmet Project

Gareth Halfacree

Smart Working Helmet

With a low power draw and beginner-friendly libraries, it's never a surprise to see the Arduino microcontrollers used in wearable electronics projects. What is sometimes a surprise is to see an Arduino used in potentially life-saving applications, and Robert Thomas' excellent Arduino-controlled firefighter's helmet has new competition in the form of Antonis Damigos and Marianna Miliori's Smart Working Helmet.

Based around a Lilypad, a wearable-centric Arduino board, Antonis and Marianna's creation concentrates on detecting three different risk factors to which the wearer may be exposed: excessive noise, excessive temperatures, and excessive levels of flammable gas. Designed primarily with miners in mind, the helmet uses a variety of feedback mechanisms to alert the wearer when the environment is hazardous: excessive noise is indicated through a flashing LED mounted at the front of the brim, while a buzzer makes two distinct warning noises for excessive temperature or gas levels.

The feedback system is also sensitive to differing levels of threat: as the noise, temperature, or gas levels increase, the noise or light feedback increases its tempo - giving the user immediate warning as to whether they are heading towards or away from a given threat. As a final bonus, the helmet also includes a light-sensitive LED lamp which automatically illuminates if the surrounding environment is dark.

Created by the pair as part of their bachelor's thesis at the Automation Engineering Department of Piraeus University of Applied Sciences, the Smart Working Helmet is released under a permissive Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike-NoCommercial licence. Full details on the project are available over on Ardumotive or Instructables, with everything you need to build your own.

Workers in mines and in other dangerous working areas, are risking their health and life every day!Mining is one of the most dangerous trades in the world. Miners deal every day with dangerous gases and high temperature levels in a dark environment. With the help of Arduino we designed and developed a Smart Working Helmet that can save their lives, if something goes wrong.

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