(Previous Engineering Work as a Member of Tool., Inc.)
The effects of cranial impacts in sports, especially football, can be severe. Brain injuries are not only attributed to high energy concussive blows, but also to repeated low energy impacts, which are known to cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
Exero Labs came to TOOL with an idea for a device that can mitigate impact energies imparted onto the brain, reducing a player’s susceptibility to both concussions and CTE. While working as an engineer at TOOL. Inc, I led the effort in developing the Exo-1.
The Exo-1 was designed to be easily installed and removed, and it utilizes both leaf spring and padding technologies to reduce impact energies. The guard itself is also able to flex and acts as an additional leaf spring, further protecting the player. The Exo-1 has undergone several iterations, each of which were subjected to intensive FEA simulations and lab testing.
The testing results show that the guard significantly reduces linear and rotational accelerations imparted onto the headform in both the front and side impact locations. We are continuing to refine the model to further improve performance, and we are looking to outfit players with the Exo-1 in upcoming seasons.