When working with rotating or otherwise dangerous equipment, you should wear eye protection. For some — hopefully most — it’s second nature to reach for your forehead when you’re about to go into “the danger zone.” For others though, the excitement of building something takes over, and you might forget to drop the shades, or “wrap-around clears” to be more accurate.
This was Görkem Bozkurt’s problem until quite recently, when he designed the “Eye Guardian” hat. This baseball cap has a rather unusual augmentation, in the form of an Arduino Nano, a MAX4466 microphone module, a 9V battery, and a servo. This allows it to drop a pair of safety glasses, also mounted on the hat, into place when sound levels go past a certain level.
The idea is that when the Arduino/microphone hears a loud sound, this implies the use of power tools, and thus danger. It then retracts the glasses when the sound is low enough, purportedly meaning that the danger is gone. While the design would likely not fulfill OSHA standards, Bozkurt is quick to note that the design is a work-in-progress, and invites anyone with improvement ideas to chime in on his write-up. Regardless, it’s a very entertaining project, seen in the demo video below.
On a related note, don’t ever take chances with your eyes. You might suppose that “well I can just do this one cut/drill/weld/whatever,” but that one time can be the time something goes wrong, just as easily as any other. Practically speaking, it can even be helpful to have a couple pairs around in case one or two get temporarily misplaced, or you have guests in your shop.