MIPS is, simply put, about safety. MIPS helmets, more than non-MIPS helmets, reduce the risk of concussion and other brain injuries by lowering rotational force. This article explains that concussions can happen when your head hits something hard--such as the ground or a ball carrier. The force of this impact forces your brain against your skull which can cause injury or death. Reducing the force of these impacts will help prevent concussions.
MIPS stands for Multi-Purpose Impact Protection System. These helmets are designed to protect against both contact and non-contact injuries. Contact injuries include open wounds and fractures while non-contact injuries include heat stroke, dehydration and even sudden cardiac arrest. Non-MIPS helmets only protect against contact injuries such as fractures and open wounds.
MIPS helmets also limit the amount of linear acceleration experienced by the brain in a blow to an area of the skull called the "bregma". Linear acceleration is the speed at which you're moving plus the force of gravity. It's what makes hitting your head on a doorframe or falling down stairs dangerous because it causes forward acceleration/deceleration of your brain. A MIPS helmet will limit this form of trauma by spreading out the force of any blow over a larger area of the head.
The Multi-directional Impact Protection System is a pioneering slip-plane technology within the helmet designed to mitigate rotational forces caused by particular accidents. When an impact occurs, the MIPS sensors at the front and back of the helmet detect it. The sensors are then connected to a microprocessor within the helmet, which determines how much force was applied and how it affected each side of the helmet. If one side of the helmet experiences more force than the other, the microprocessor will activate electromagnets attached to the frame of the helmet, which in turn will cause pistons inside the helmet to slide against each other, reducing or eliminating the torque effect on the brain.
Helmets that use this technology were first introduced in 2001. They require electronics within the helmet, so they are not available for older models of helmets. However, these options are available for newer models: X-Plore (20th century), Max-Dynamics (21st century).
Multi-directional protection systems work by weighing scales inside the helmet. When an impact occurs, the sensors at the front and back of the helmet detect it.
MIPS helmets add an extra layer of protection for all bike riders. If you're in the market for a new helmet, the extra $20 or so to go from a non-MIPS to a MIPS-equipped one is definitely worth it. The more important question is whether or not the increased technology cost is worth the added safety. In my opinion, yes, it is.
The main advantage of a MIPS-equipped helmet is the ability to transmit data about the incident that caused your helmet to activate to police or other first responders. This includes information about your location at the time of the accident as well as any medical issues you may have had prior to going into the hospital.
Helmet-to-helmet communications will help officers respond more quickly and effectively during accidents where multiple people are injured or killed. They can also be used by first responders to identify which patients require immediate attention and which can wait their turn. Of course, this feature is not available on every MIPS-equipped helmet out there, but it's something you should consider when making your purchase.
Another advantage of MIPS-equipped helmets is improved security against cyberattacks. Since many incidents involving motorcycle accidents occur in remote areas with little else happening around them, they provide an opportunity for criminals to target victims using computer viruses sent through email or social media.
The MiP is a $99.99 toy-sized robot that can be programmed to perform pretty much whatever you want. MiP's default behavior is to respond to claps and other hand movements made by the user. In roam mode, the robot will walk about freely while intelligently avoiding impediments. It also plays music, responds to voices, and more.
MiP features two main sensors: an infrared camera that uses computer vision to recognize objects, and a microphone that detects sounds. These sensors are used to guide the robot through its tasks. For example, when someone says "open," the robot will automatically open its hands.
Also using computer vision, the robot can see where it is on its own map and navigate to any of the rooms set up on campus. If it encounters something it doesn't understand, it will ask for instructions from users through speech recognition or by blinking its lights.
Finally, MiP can communicate with smartphones via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. This allows users to control the robot remotely, issue commands, and view its current location at any time. Users can also use their phones as a speaker by playing music files through the robot's speakers.
Currently, MiP can only speak English, but developers say it should be easy to translate the software into other languages. You can find out more about how to program MiP at minoidrobot.com.