Computer scientists at Saarland University have developed a wireless bicycle brake and demonstrated its efficiency on a so-called cruiser bike. They further confirmed the brake system’s reliability through mathematical calculations that are also used in control systems for aircraft or chemical factories.
To brake with the wireless brake, a cyclist has just to clench the rubber grip on the right handle. It seems as if a ghost hand is in play, but a combination of several electronic components enables the braking. Integrated in the rubber grip is a pressure sensor, which activates a sender if a specified pressure threshold is crossed. The sender is integrated in a blue plastic box which is the size of a cigarette packet and is attached to the handlebar. Its radio signals are sent to a receiver attached at the end of the bicycle’s fork. The receiver forwards the signal to an actuator, transforming the radio signal into the mechanical power by which the disk brake is activated.
To enhance reliability, there are additional senders attached to the bicycle. These repeatedly send the same signal. In this way, the scientists hope to ensure that the signal arrives at the receiver in time, even if the connection causes a delay or fails. The computer scientists at Saarland University found that increasing the number of senders does not result in increased reliability.
After first talks with bicycle brake manufacturers, Hermanns is looking for engineers who will realize the concept of a wireless bicycle brake.