A version of this article appeared in the May issue of BRAIN.
By Alan Cote
Could a “Check Engine” light be coming to bikes? Shimano is thinking that way, and has filed a patent application for using artificial intelligence processing paired with sensors to monitor wear and maintenance of bicycle components.
US Patent Application 20200010138, published on Jan. 9, gives a glimpse of a system for bicycles analogous to the on-board-diagnostic systems that automobiles have used for decades.
As is often the case, the application is not exactly a spec sheet for a new product line. Rather, it broadly claims the use of a digital processor to generate information related to deterioration, wear, and failure of various bicycle components, in some cases using sensors embedded in those components. And to boot, it uses AI processing to continue learning, based on actual wear rates.
Components listed that can be monitored include: brakes (calipers, pads, shoes, hoses, cables rotors); drivetrain (sprockets, chains, crankarms, bottom bracket, crankshaft, pedals); wheels (hubs, spokes, rims, tires), lights, seatposts, handlebar grips, suspension components, batteries, various e-bike components, and more.
Different versions of the system …read more