Friday, September 7, 2012


Everyone knows how important it is to protect your noggin and wear a helmet when riding a bike, but when using a bike share system, this can be complicated. Sudents from MIT developed a machine that can help with this problem. Very interesting and controversial topic, but this article does a good job explaining how "rent a helmet" machines work.

["The Hubway bike-sharing network launched last year helped transform Boston into a more bike-friendly city.
There’s only one problem: It requires users to wear helmets, but it doesn’t provide them.
Instead, people have to wear their own or schlep to the nearest participating retailer and buy one for $7.99.
So along came a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineers who made a class project of developing a solar-powered vending machine capable of dispensing and collecting up to 36 helmets at a time.

“The big driver of any bike-share program is spontaneity; nobody wants to walk a mile to buy a helmet when the bike you need is right there,” said Chris Mills, the 22-year-old CEO, president and co-founder of HelmetHub. “With our machine, you’ll be able to get a helmet when you need it, and when you don’t, you can return it.”

By stacking the helmets vertically, the machines are able to supply enough for a Hubway station. The helmets come in three sizes and will likely cost between $2 and $5 to rent, Mills said, and returned helmets will be inspected and sanitized before re-entering the supply.
Mills and co-founders Breanna Berry and Arni Lehro hope to install the first machines by mid-October at a limited number of Hubway stations in Boston and Cambridge.
But other bike-share programs — in New York; Washington, D.C.; San Antonio, Texas; Vancouver, Canada; and Melbourne, Australia — also have expressed interest in HelmetHub, which was selected as a finalist in this year’s MassChallenge start-up competition."] -Maria Szaniszlo, Boston Herald
What do you all think? Good idea or bad?
Happy thinking and HAPPY FRIDAY!
B-fit, B-green, B-cycle

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