LumaHelm – an interactive helmet

We have covered a normal helmet with LED strips, constituting of 104 LEDs. By carefully positioning the strips we can cover the curved surface of the helmet evenly in light. The strips are linked together and hooked up to an Arduino Uno, allowing us to easily control the lights individually. While Arduino is great for prototyping with hardware, it does not work so well for creating visuals. We therefore made an interface in Processing that can talk to the Arduino. Anything we draw on the screen is mapped and immediately displayed on the helmet. While the helmet could take any sensor input as a source for visualization, we have already build in an accelerometer. This sensor measures motion, allowing the user to control the helmet through head movement.

In the construction of the LumaHelm we made sure not to modify the original helmet, so it would meet safety standards. We build a new cover to be fitted over the existing helmet and LED strips. We made a 3D scan of the helmet and modelled a slightly larger version (1) and had the 3D model CNC-cut (2). The layers were together, sanded down into a smooth mould (3) and we made a vacuum-formed cast from it (4).