Nuro next-gen self-driving delivery car will protect pedestrians with an old-fashioned airbag!

Airbags have been cited to save the lives of people inside a car, and Nuro thinks they might also be able to save people outside of one.

Autonomous, self-driving cars have long been a dream of both car manufacturers as well as many drivers, but they also sound like the stuff of sci-fi horror for other people, especially those outside of the robot vehicle. Although it’s a long time coming, these driverless cars will eventually be found on highways as well as neighborhood streets, whether ferrying people or groceries. Nuro is more interested in the latter, and its latest prototype design makes a big commitment not just to the safety of people but also that of the environment.

Designer: Nuro

Nuro has been around for quite a while, but it might not be getting as much attention as self-driving cars from bigger brands like Tesla. That might be due to its focus on a very specific market for delivering goods, not humans, from the store to your doorstep. In a way, that also works in its favor because it can fine-tune its features and performance in ways that more general-purpose autonomous vehicles can’t.

For example, Nuro’s latest-gen version of its driverless R2 pod adds a new safety feature for pedestrians that sounds both absurd and genius in its simplicity. While it will try to avoid any accident as much as it can, it will also deploy an external airbag in front of the vehicle when it can’t. This is designed to help reduce the force of impact and hopefully reduce the number of injuries to pedestrians. That, of course, will still depend on how fast the vehicle was traveling in the first place, and this latest iteration can apparently go up to 45 mph.

Nuro is also making big promises when it comes to sustainability and protecting the environment. It will be impossible at this point to go all out on using renewable materials, but it will at least try to make sure to reduce its impact on the environment. More importantly, Nuro says that the new electric vehicle will use 100% renewable electricity from wind farms in Texas, reducing the carbon footprint even for day-to-day operations.

This third-gen autonomous delivery vehicle also has more space for groceries, food, and other items. Nuro says that all these upgrades are designed not just to make deliveries faster and more efficient but also to free up more time for humans to spend on more important things, like family and friends. That said, pre-production of the manufacturing facility that will make these driverless delivery robots has only just begun, so it might be a while before we see these on the road.

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This emergency flashlight doubles as a desk lamp and has built-in sensors to indicate the safest evacuation routes!

Strix is an emergency flashlight that uses integrated sensors to provide building occupants with the safest and most efficient evacuation route during emergency situations.

Emergency situations have a way of testing our fight or flight responses. But then, some of us freeze. No matter the disaster, evacuations require quick thinking that panic tends to stifle and it’s no secret that emergencies bring out the panic.

High-rise offices and public buildings are especially vulnerable to emergency situations, requiring mass evacuations in the worst cases. Providing a means for building occupants to evacuate safely, Hanyoung Lee designed Strix, a desk lamp that transforms into an emergency flashlight that reveals the most efficient evacuation routes during disaster situations.

Given a modular build, the original form of Strix is a nondescript desk lamp with an attached light diffuser that offers a moody counterpart to Strix’s primary function.

Once disaster hits and an evacuation is required, Strix transforms into an emergency flashlight that reveals the quickest, safest way out of the building. Guiding users to safety, Lee linked Strix with the building’s programmed evacuation route systems that come alight via LED light indicators.

As opposed to following LED light strips, similar to those found in airplane aisles, Strix is handheld and portable, allowing users to bring it anywhere. While light strips are helpful in their own light, the portability feature of Strix might come in handy in the case that various evacuation routes are blocked.

During these situations, Strix adjusts the evacuation route the same way your GPS might when you take a wrong turn.

Describing the programmed evacuation light indicator, Lee notes, “The Strix sensor operates based on the beacon system to provide the user with the optimal evacuation route. It consists of a sensor that functions as a real-time location tracking [device,] as well as a sensor that shows an induction road on the floor.”

Designer: Hanyoung Lee

When there’s no emergency, Strix functions as a casual desk lamp with an attached light diffuser. 

The internal workings of Strix link up with each building’s programmed evacuation route systems. 

A charging station allows users to keep Strix full of battery for when disaster hits. 

Available in an array of different colors, Strix can match the tone of your office for use as a desk lamp. 

The light diffuser readily detaches from the flashlight for use during emergencies. 

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Ex-Aston Martin engineer designed a sleek ‘packable’ cycling helmet that flips inward to become 50% slimmer

It’s almost hilarious, but the two leading reasons for people not wearing helmets are the fact that it ruins their hair, and that it’s too bulky to carry or store anywhere. While there isn’t really an immediate solution to the former (apart from going bald), an ex-Aston Martin engineer devised a clever way to solve the latter problem. Meet the Flip-Clip Go, a Red Dot Award-winning ‘packable’ helmet that folds down to occupy 50% of its original volume, making it easier to carry with you when not in use.

The helmet’s patented design features a flippable top that turns its dome-shaped form into a frisbee that’s easier to stash in bags, carry under one’s arms, or place inside the cargo space in scooters. Measuring 81mm in thickness when closed, the Flip-Clip Go’s bulkiness gets reduced by 50%, making it much more convenient than traditional bulky helmets that can be cumbersome to carry around.

The helmet’s highlight is its Flip-Clip™ Technology, which allows it to alter its volume by flipping and folding inwards. This nifty little feature turns the bulbous helmet into an 81mm disc that’s about as bulky as a novel or a dictionary. Cutting the original helmet’s mass by up to 50%, the folded helmet can easily be stashed away, so you don’t need to rely on archaic techniques like locking your helmet to your bike.

The helmet was conceptualized by Josh Cohen, Dom Cotton, and Will Wood, friends and bicycle enthusiasts alike (and co-founders of Newlane). The light bulb moment came when Josh used a hire bike in Central London. Feeling a sense of vulnerability without the helmet, he spoke to Dom, who immediately hopped on board and was soon followed by Will, an ex-engineer at Aston Martin who helped conceive the helmet’s design, its details, and finalize its material choices to create a helmet that was effective, lightweight, sustainable, and yet affordable.

The Flip-Clip Go helmet comes made entirely from recycled plastics, salvaged from oceans and landfills, before being treated, processed, cleaned, and re-molded. It comes with a relatively bare-basics design, featuring an airy construction that relies on honeycomb structures, and is supported by a protective inner layer of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Manufactured in partnership with Cameron-Price in the UK, each helmet helps recycle as many as 20 plastic bottles worth of plastic, and Newlane hopes to be entirely carbon-free by 2030.

The Flip-Clip Go helmet is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designer: Newlane

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This minimal modern tool kit for urban users ditches traditional design to improve safety of use

Got bored with the same old hand tools in your cabinet? Then you need to consider the uber-cool TYR hand tools designed for modern users who crave style, safety, and simplicity of use.

Hand tools are household accessories that are essentials a dwelling always has handy somewhere in the cabinets or the garage. Most of us have a briefcase with Bosch tools, or if you’re lucky, have your own tool cabinet to rescue for a number of situations – be it using brute force to undo a stuck door or building a treehouse in the backyard as a weekend project. Over the years, these tools have not seen much design evolution in terms of functionality and ease of use. ZEN MOKE wants to change that with a refreshing set of hand tools that can be categorized more as an EDC owning to their compact nature.

The core idea with the TYR Household hand tool kit is to make the modern tools aesthetically pleasing while being safer than the traditional design which at times can be sharp at places not needed. Take for example the screwdriver, pliers, cutter, or the good old hammer. Another consideration for the design of the hand tools here is the tactical shape which requires less energy to do more. A perfect use-case scenario for the urban users who like everything they own to be simple, good-looking, and very easy to put into use.

The designer draws inspiration for the new line of hand tools from the contoured shape of common objects such as a bar of soap, PC mouse, headphones, and wireless earbuds. The notion here is to ditch the acute-angled triangular shapes for a rounded overall shape to prevent injuries when novice users are at work. The result, a collection of basic handyman tools that you would actually want to carry around as an EDC.

To lend the TYR Household hand tool kit a stylish element, the designer crafts them in a brushed metal housing, proposed to come in cool color options including – black, white, grey, and multi-color hues.

Designer: ZEN MOKE

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Augmented Reality Helmet concept aims at revolutionizing how firefighters rescue civilians

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

Technology is best put to use when it gives us powers we didn’t have before. Whether it’s being able to fly using airplanes, see through skin and bones using X-rays, or send each other messages using radio waves and satellites. I’ve long believed that augmented reality has the ability to positively impact life as we know it, beyond just entertainment and games. Microsoft’s Hololens has often demonstrated how AR tech can help remote learning and servicing, whether it’s something as simple as sending instructions to a technician fixing a faulty circuit box or plumbing pipe, or as game-changing as helping doctors learn more about the human body by literally being able to see inside it using virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. A Red Dot Design Concept Award-winning entry, however, is pushing the capabilities of augmented reality imaging to help firefighters effectively assess buildings, find structural weak spots, avoid infernos, locate and rescue victims, and quickly plot safe escape routes.

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

The Brave is an AR Headset with a helmet attachment purpose-built for firefighters to use while training and in action. The headset itself comes with an array of cameras along the front that allows the internal chip to effectively plot out its surroundings, and a HUD under the headset’s main visor helps project digital elements on the physical world while the firefighters move around. The outer visor also covers the upper half of the face, preventing dust and debris from making its way into the firefighter’s eyes, while a mask on the lower half of their face remains unobstructed or untouched.

When paired along with the helmet, the Brave is complete as a state-of-the-art imaging, safety, and rescue tool. The helmet comes with lights built into the front and the back, illuminating the path while allowing firefighters to see each other in smoke-filled corridors. The rear of the helmet even comes with a camera lens that allows the AR headset to see what’s behind the wearer too, informing them of any developments. Finally, the hard-hat helmet works as the ultimate head-protecting device, softening the impact from debris that may fall from above, and overall helping the firefighter effectively perform rescue missions without getting hurt. Along with the AR headset, however, the Brave is the ultimate rescue tool. It helps firefighters effectively see behind walls, beyond floors, and observe the building in a way that the eyes cannot.

The Brave AR Helmet is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2021.

Designers: Kim Hyewon & Shin Alim

Brave - Augmented Reality Helmet for Firefighters

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‘Innovative Bicycle Helmet with auto-deploying neck airbag’ wins Bronze at the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge

Armed with two features that make bicycling much safer, Marco Filipic’s Envoy Helmet design for the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge takes on both preventive as well as protective measures to safeguard the rider. To ensure that the rider avoids accidents in the first place, the helmet comes with a fold-out rear-view heads-up mirror that lets them see potential vehicles approaching from the rear, while in the unfortunate event of an accident, the helmet has its own auto-deploying airbag that protects the neck and upper spine when the rider falls.

“Cycling to work every morning gave me time to think about how a helmet could be improved in terms of safety”, said Marco to Yanko Design. “Looking backward and sideways to turn, seemed to me it could be improved with some kind of aid; during a little research I noticed that some rear-view mirrors can be mounted on sunglasses and helmets, so I thought, how might we include it on the helmet and make it easy to use?

“The neck is exposed to falls and is a very sensitive area to impacts”, Marco stated as yet another pitfall with regular helmets. To make the Envoy safer, his redesign sported an airbag concealed in the base of the helmet, that deployed the instant it detected the rider falling. The neck-cushion-shaped airbag would wrap around the back of the neck, providing that extra bit of cushioning to ensure the rider’s neck doesn’t receive any shock while falling.

Unanimously declared the Bronze Winner by the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge Jury Panel, Marco also wins an Apple HomePod Mini along with a KeyShot HD Licence.

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Designer: Marco Filipic

‘Modular Cycling Helmet with a full-face attachment for motorbikes’ secures Silver at the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge

Among hundreds of entries for the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge that asked participants to redesign the Envoy Helmet to make it safer,
António Martins’ redesign turned the bicycle helmet into a versatile piece of headgear that could even offer full-face protection while riding motorcycles.

“To make ENVOY Helmet safer, I designed a removable chin protector along with a practical snap system. Its clean design makes the chin protector look like part of the helmet”, said Martins about his Silver Award-winning design.

It makes a world of sense, because people shouldn’t have to buy two separate helmets for bicycles and motorbikes. Martins’ elegant modular design allows you to have both helmets within one product. The redesigned Envoy proposes having a separate, detachable chin-protector that can easily and securely be snapped in place using tabs on either side of the helmet. Just attach the chin protector and the Envoy goes from being a cycling helmet to something perfect for motorbiking, quad-biking, and even snowmobiling in.

Unanimously declared the Silver Winner by the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge Jury Panel, António also wins a pair of AirPods Pro along with a KeyShot HD Licence.

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Designer: António Maria Oliveira Martins

‘Two-part helmet that can be safely removed by EMTs’ declared winner of the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge

Among hundreds of entries for the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge that asked participants to redesign the Envoy Helmet to make it safer, Jonathan Hatch’s redesign presented a clever feature – a pair of pull-tabs that allowed the helmet to split into two, making it easy for emergency medical technicians to easily and safely remove the headgear in the event of an emergency.

“My addition to the Envoy helmet concept is to improve safety for the user after an accident occurs”, Jonathan told Yanko Design. “Typically, removing an injured user’s helmet after an accident requires one EMT to stabilize the head and neck and another to cut the chin strap and pull the helmet off. The helmet removal often results in accidental repositioning of the head and neck, potentially causing additional injuries or taking up precious seconds during the rescue.”

By adding the EMT Removal Lock, the Envoy Helmet prioritizes wearer safety in virtually every scenario… even the unavoidable ones. The Envoy helmet with the EMT removal lock simplifies this procedure by allowing an EMT to split the helmet at a critical seam in seconds, all without applying any force or moving the head or neck. After the cap is separated, the user’s head remains safely cradled in the remaining shell.

Unanimously declared the Gold Winner by the YD x KeyShot Design Challenge Jury Panel, Jonathan also wins an Apple iPad along with a KeyShot Pro Licence.

Follow Yanko Design and KeyShot on Instagram to know about upcoming Design Challenges.

Designer: Jonathan Hatch

Tokyo’s hotel designs new pandemic-era dining experience with transparent lanterns for guests to enjoy a face mask-free dinner!

The Tokyo Lantern Dinner at the Hoshinoya ryokan in Otemachi, Tokyo provides transparent lanterns made from vinyl for dining guests to experience group dinners without wearing masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the world, we’ve seen how the industry of design has impacted our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. From transparent dining pods to no-contact food trucks, designers have made eating out possible over these past three years. Even in 2021, COVID-19’s effect on dining out has stuck around and different versions of what we call the ‘new normal’ are still making rounds. At Hoshinoya, in Otemachi, Tokyo, a new dining experience called the ‘Tokyo Lantern Dinner,’ brings lanterns for each guest to use as transparent partitions against COVID-19 during group dinners.

Designed for dining guests to feel free and unmask during dinner, the lantern partitions were conceived by Hoshinoya for their familiarity with Japanese culture and customs. From the top of each lantern, soft, warm light pours over your head and meal, illuminating your facial expressions during conversation as well as the food on your plate. Produced by the long-established lantern store Kojima Shoten in Kyoto, each lantern measures 75-cm in diameter and 102-cm in height, leaving more than enough room to enjoy your meal without fear of splashing the transparent vinyl covering, which reaches 0.15 mm in thickness.

The designers behind Hoshinoya’s Tokyo Lantern Dinner created the experience to provide a space where loved ones who were kept apart due to the pandemic can meet and enjoy a quality meal together like we could before 2019. Limiting the dining area to 40-sqm, fresh, ventilated air is poured into the room 5.5 times per hour, around 11 times more than the average public setting in Tokyo.

Interested guests of Hoshinoya can make reservations for the Tokyo Lantern Dinner and dine with loved ones staying outside of the ryokan for ¥30,000 ($264.10) per group and ¥21,780 ($191.70) per person, The price includes a multi-course meal from a set menu called “Nippon Cuisine ~Fermentation~.” As described by Hoshinoya the menu contains, “A wide variety of fermented foods such as seasonings, soy sauce, and miso, which have been popular in Japan since ancient times, [as well as] preserved foods such as pickles and salted fish.”

Designer: Hoshinoya

This inflatable stretcher designed for emergency missions decreases the chance of panic-induced injuries!

The inflatable stretcher designed by Yu-Hsin Wu caters to impromptu emergency situations with the goal of lessening the effects of panic-induced injuries caused by medical personnel and/or the patient.

Life-threatening rescue situations can bring on panic in anyone, even first responders. When EMT personnel, nurses, and doctors are faced with life or death, the panic that comes with it can exacerbate preexisting injuries or worse yet, result in new injuries. In an attempt to avoid these sometimes fatal mistakes, Taiwan-based student designer Yu-Hsin Wu developed their own interpretation of an inflatable stretcher that comes equipped with medical tools and kits that ensure a successful rescue mission.

Wu’s inflatable stretcher features a similar build to everyday flotation devices like pool floats with additional fastening cushions that keep the patient in place. This inflatable stretcher also comes with integrated tools kits and medical accessories for rescuers to use on the patient before and during the ride to the hospital.

Since Wu’s inflatable stretcher comes with built-in rescue tools and clinical appliances, the medical aid given to the patient will feel intuitive and systematic. Ideal for high-traffic locations and community recreation zones, the inflatable stretcher comes packed with instructions so health professionals like lifeguards and on-site supervisors can use the stretcher with ease whenever necessary.

Lightweight and portable by design, the inflatable stretcher can be used across many different rescue circumstances, from water rescue missions to airlift emergency situations. Recognized by Golden Pin Design Awards for its innovation in the medical field, the inflatable stretcher already comes equipped with several medical tools for use during emergency crises, so no matter the location or form of transportation taken to the hospital, patients will receive preliminary care.

Summing up the design in their own words, Wu describes, “When an accident occurs, the rescuer’s emotions and strains may not be able to properly rescue. The inflatable stretcher integrates ambulance supplies and fixed equipment, it is expected that when an incident occurs, it can be quickly taken in the form of a bag, and calmly follow the instructions on the stretcher to correctly rescue.”

Designer: Yu-Hsin Wu