Design Review: Motorcycle Heartbeat Sensor


I was talking about my project with my dad, just brainstorming, when he gave me the suggestion to build him a heartbeat sensor that he wears on his wrist that he can use while working out.   He wanted something that would indicate when his heart rate was outside of a certain range.   I plan on designing a watch that would tell the user to speed up, slow down, or maintain their beats per minute using LEDs that light up depending on the situation.  Now that I had an idea of what to build, I needed an aesthetic to implement into my design.  I remembered that my dad has a Harley Davidson Sportster and loves the motorcycles, so I decided to that as my aesthetic.

2017 Sportster (My dad has an older model)


The main inspirations for the design is based on the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Brand and Biker culture.  Riders typically wear black leather jackets, sometimes with their group’s emblem, and their bikes are usually black with flames along the sides.  Also, the chrome of the pipes and engines of their bikes pop out and grab your attention.  I plan on using black leather for the bands on the watch and painting the case of the sensor as black or silver with flames on the sides of it.  I want to use a green, yellow, and red LEDs like a stop light to represent the need to speed up, maintain, or slow down their heart beat.  If I have time, I plan on painting the Harley Davidson Logo on the case as well.

Image result for harley davidson rider

Critical Component:

A critical component for the project is the case for the arduino that will measure the user’s heat rate.  It needs to be able to hold the arduino comfortable while also not affecting the person while they are working out.  I also wanted the design of the case to work with the aesthetic I established.  I based the design of it on the “peanut chopper” style gas tank that are very popular on motorcycles.


4/3 have the coding for the arduino done

4/10 print the case

4/15 test the case

4/18 have the case painted



Arduino Board with components: $40

Heart Beat Sensor: $35

Paint and brushes: $20~30

3D printing: $.60 per cm^3 filling and .30 per cm^3 non filling


Watch buckle:$3



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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Branden Goldenberg
    March 20, 2017 12:29 pm

    This should be a fun project! The motorcycle aesthetic is clever. I hope you are able to keep the volume of the sensor low so it is not a nuisance to wear. If you can paint it similar to your fathers bike that would be pretty sweet.

  • Connor Swanson
    March 20, 2017 11:16 am

    I loved that both the aesthetic and the functionality of your project were inspired by your dad. I’m excited to see how the black and red frame aseptic make the sensor look just like a classic Harley

  • Love the aesthetic. I think you should try to find a way to reduce the height of the housing. It could possibly be a little too tall to wear.

  • Motorcycle aesthetic is very cool! I think with the right paint job you can really make it look like the classic gas tank on so many Harleys. It’s also really cool that you’re making something to give to your dad. I want to know more about how you plan to attach it to the wrist and keep it secure.

  • Oksana Schuppan
    March 17, 2017 12:34 pm

    It is fantastic that you are designing this device with a user in mind: your dad. You can directly incorporate research based on your user. I also like that you selected the aesthetic based on your dad’s passions. I am looking forward to seeing the execution of your design and am excited to see how the heartbeat sensor works.

  • Very cool project. How are you incorporating a dynamic aspect into this project? The upside is that there is a very clear aesthetic on this, more than most projects.

  • Benjamin Fried
    March 15, 2017 9:07 pm

    Jon, great idea. I like how you are taking your dad’s hobby and creating a functional item that he will enjoy. You should focus on choosing a paint scheme that will match the harley aesthetic. I remember Professor Hertzberg mentioned this aesthetic early in the semester, so maybe you can look back at that and see if it sparks any ideas.

    Maybe you can find a bright orange flame color, add some mini biker gang patches to it. Whatever aesthetic you choose, try to customize it to something your dad will enjoy.

  • Great idea! I like the Harley aesthetic. It goes really well with the motorcycle design. Nice job!


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