Intelligent Machines

Experimental Helmet Designs

To help prevent and reduce concussions, researchers are designing new helmet concepts.

Jan 26, 2011
The Bulwark Helmet, developed by Michael Princip, is a segmented design that resembles the stitching patterns of old leather helmets. The segments can be fit with different types of padding to fit players’ needs.
Layers of padding inside the Bulwark helmet vary in thickness and density. The layer just beneath the outer shell is called an absorption band and is made of a mix of thermoplastic urethane and foam. The materials are calibrated to offer the right amount of shock absorption to avert energy from reaching the innermost shell that surrounds a player’s head.
The innermost layer of padding in the Bulwark is a type of foam that cushions the head and secures the helmet in place.
Brett Straus, who works for at Protective Sports Equipment, has spent eight years developing the Gladiator helmet. It has a soft outer shell made of polyurethane foam over a hard shell. It also includes several layers of protection on the inside.