Arduino Bikes Fun & Games

From MAKE subscriber Justin Shaw comes the UberLight – a dual LED matrix bicycle turn signal an brake light. An interesting design using accelerometer to determine braking, plus basic switches for indicating turns. The project uses an Arduino in combination with a couple of serial-controlled red/green matrices. Riding with this setup should get some much-needed attention from nighttime drivers. For more info, check out the schematic and source code.

In the Maker Shed:
Makershedsmall Arduino Protoshield Kit
ProtoShield for Arduino Kit

10 thoughts on “DIY bike signals with accelerometer control

  1. Back in the 1970s, I had a mechanical, manually-operated bike turn signal/rear-light unit. It was illuminated by a small bulb and showed a red rear light plus a moveable amber turn signal in the shape of an arrow. The arrow could be swung out left or right by a hand control on the handlebars, which was connected via a brake-cable type arrangement. I wish I still had it! My father made a bracket to fit it on the rear of a pedal-driven go-kart.

  2. The main flaw I can see with this is that it’s not a turn signal, this is just a visual notification. You’ve already done the action that’s being reported – you’ve slowed down or you’ve turned and the people behind you have had no extra warning. You need to get all the signalling out of the way a little bit in advance so that people around you know what you’re about to do.

    Otherwise it’s clearer that you’re turning by the fact you’re already turning than it is by the little LED panel.

    It’s a great concept but unless you fit it to a time machine that works ten seconds into the future the cars around you will still prefer you sticking an arm out.

  3. @Stephen – The turn signals seem to be switch activated same as cars. Cars also don’t turn on brake lights until the driver begins pressing the pedal – the accelerometer turns on brake lights when it detects deceleration. That being said, I’d still welcome the addition of a 10-second-time-machine ;)

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