Scientists at Saarland University have developed an innovative wireless brake system which does away with cables and levers. Those worried about the system failing shouldn't be, as the wireless brake offers 99.999999999997 percent reliability after tests using mathematical calculations which are also used in control systems for aircraft and chemical factories.
For operation, the cyclist simply clenches the right rubber grip on the handlebars. The more tightly the rider squeezes, the harder the disk brake on the front wheel works. Integrated within the grip is a pressure sensor and several electronic components, which detects a specified level of strength. Radio signals are then sent to a receiver on the bicycle's fork, which is processed by an actuator turning the information into mechanical power.
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Enhanced reliability is possible through additional senders which repeatedly feed information to the braking system. Therefore the current configuration enables the cruiser bike to brake in just 250 milliseconds.
“Wireless networks are never a fail-safe method. That’s a fact that’s based on a technological background,” said Professor Holger Hermanns, one of the developers who worked on the project.“In the field of the future European Train Service, for example, concrete plans already exist. The wireless bicycle brake gives us the necessary playground to optimise these methods for operation in much more complex systems.”
Talks regarding the commercial potential of this technology have taken place with bicycle manufacturers, however Hermanns is looking for engineers to develop the system even further.