Smart saddle could improve equestrian safety • Earth.com

Smart saddle could improve equestrian safety

03-27-2022

Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society explains how a “smart saddle” could help equestrians with most aspects of riding and training. The saddle could also help to make potentially dangerous equestrian sports more safe by alerting others when a rider takes a fall.

Reporting in ACS Nano, the experts describe a smart saddle prototype they have developed using small, lightweight triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs). Not only are TENGS self-powered, but they can also convert pressure, touch and motion into electrical signals. 

Ding Nan, Baodong Chen, Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues made a thin, flexible, disk-shaped TENG that flattens when depressed and rebounds once pressure is removed. While under pressure and compressed, electrons are transferred from one electrode to another. This generates a current, which stops when the pressure is released.

Ultimately, these electrical signals indicate whether a rider is leaning forward, sitting upright, or leaning backward. The self-powered system was found to have a response time of 16 milliseconds.

The saddle can also transmit a wireless signal to alert others when a rider takes a fall. This safety feature could allow an injured rider to be quickly found and treated, which is especially important when riding alone. 

Video Credit: American Chemical Society 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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