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Remote-controlled MiniBrake aims to boost safety for biking novices

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April 24, 2014

The MiniBrake enables parents to bring their child's bike to a halt within a range of 50 m...

The MiniBrake enables parents to bring their child's bike to a halt within a range of 50 meters (164 ft)

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A team of Hungarian inventors is looking to help ease the stress of raising would-be Evil Knievels by developing a remote controlled bicycle brake. Dubbed MiniBrake, the device can be attached to the seat post of a typical bike frame and puts braking entirely under the control of nervous, onlooking parents.

The MiniBrake system is made up of a braking unit, which can be installed using a single Allen key, and an oval-shaped remote around the size of a palm. As the toddler builds up speed, making a beeline for that busy intersection or solid brick fence, a push of the button will cause the brake to press down on the rear tire and bring the bike to a stop.

How quickly exactly will depend of course on how fast they are traveling. The company does say however that a moving bike can be safely brought to a halt within half a meter (1.65 ft). Once the brake has been applied, a second push of the button will release the tire and allow the wheel to spin freely.

The MiniBrake enables parents to bring their child's bike to a halt within a range of 50 m...

The MiniBrake system has a range of 50 m (164 ft). It sports an LED on the side of the braking unit to indicate the life of the battery and that all parts are in working order. As an added security feature, the brake is configured to activate automatically if the battery goes flat, if any parts are not functioning correctly or if the child rides out of range.

The brake is designed for children as young as two years and up to a maximum of 35 kg (77 lb). The company has functioning prototypes and has taken the MiniBrake to Indiegogo to raise funds for commercial production. A pledge of US$80 will put you in line for one of the remote control brakes, with the team hoping to begin shipping in June 2014.

You can hear from the team behind MiniBrake in the video below.

Source: MiniBrake

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. He now writes for Gizmag, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, Melbourne's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.   All articles by Nick Lavars
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13 Comments

What on earth for?

Teach the child to control the bicycle properly.

I cannot think of anything worse, someone else having control of the vehicle you are supposed to be in control of.

Suzanne Bradley
24th April, 2014 @ 01:43 am PDT

The bike may stop in 0.5m, but what happens to the child?

ihateorange
24th April, 2014 @ 02:34 am PDT

This is far more likely to end up with the rider crashing, they are wobbling along and someone without warnings brakes the rear wheel, the bike will hit the ground instantly, same if the kid turns to avoid a crash as the parent hits the brake.

This should never be allowed to be sold.

Gary Bonney
24th April, 2014 @ 02:46 am PDT

This is brilliant. Kids of two on a balance bike just don't understand danger. We've had several near misses, and if you're already pushing a buggy, you can't run after them. Reins don't work, as they would pull them off the bike. This would keep them alive long enough to learn to control the bike properly.

Wilf Forrow
24th April, 2014 @ 03:19 am PDT

Sounds like a bad idea to me.

Slowburn
24th April, 2014 @ 03:36 am PDT

I'm working on a one piece suit stuffed with cotton wool in my garage. Should stop 'little Jimmy' hurting himself.

JacknZ
24th April, 2014 @ 05:50 am PDT

turn unexpected braking = crash

wle

Larry English
24th April, 2014 @ 08:25 am PDT

If you don't think this is a good ides don't buy it. I think this would be great for anyone who lives on hills.

LordInsidious
24th April, 2014 @ 08:50 am PDT

Nifty idea- but even better is following your kid- I run beside the kids on a me-mover www.me-mover.com making it possible to safely following at any speed while beeing able to support the kids and if needed stop them :) /j

Jonas Eliasson
24th April, 2014 @ 04:09 pm PDT

While we're at it, we should install remote door brakes on all the doors in the house to prevent any accidental slamming of tiny fingers, remote seat belt actuation so they won't have to remember to buckle up, remotely deployed face shield to prevent black eyes in dodge ball, remotely actuated knee pads to save those knees from...life, personal air bags, floatation aids, remote heimlich device, remote ice packs, remote hydration infusers...

Another excellent product aimed at the "look at me, I can connect to and control the entire universe on my smart phone but I don't want to spend the time to actually parent" crowd not dissimilar to the Huggies Tweet Pee diaper in technology overuse. Sure, the vigilant (er...hover) parent can prevent run-away crashes, but that assumes that the parent not only has the remote in hand ready to use but also be paying attention at every moment of the child's existence. But if you are vigilant, couldn't you just tell your child to stop before the requirement of an emergency remotely actuated brake becomes necessary?

The obvious solution is to educate the youngster about safety in the first place. He/she won't listen when you yell stop? Then take away their riding privilege. They learn pretty quickly. How hard is that?

sk8dad
24th April, 2014 @ 04:35 pm PDT

This is a bad idea. Catastrophically dangerous for the unsuspecting rider.

Here's an idea for that lazy, hyper-cautious parent. Make it a one-shot learning experience. Mount it on the front wheel.

duh3000
25th April, 2014 @ 07:51 am PDT

this will lead to a massive lawsuit in the u..s for the first instance of product liability. someone might actually buy this just to pretend accident and sue the maker.

this idea for a product -----will not succeed in this regulated environment, even if it had a market......

zevulon
25th April, 2014 @ 09:37 am PDT

What a strange bunch of posters today!

All looking for lawsuit possibilities - what about the safety aspect?

Just wait till Little Freddie belts out the gate to chase a bigger sibling, goes straight past and hits a vehicle, then see if they buy one or two.

The user does not have to 'slam' the bike to a screeching halt, just using it in tiny bursts, slowing it down so the rider can react to the shout, would be enough in many cases.

I like the idea of a default setting for out of range (or low battery), if Freddie can get to the gate - but not past it - that is the main concern for parents.

The Skud
27th April, 2014 @ 09:14 pm PDT
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