Example of operating instructions

A project log for HelpMe! Trigger using EMG

Discretely broadcast an emergency alert to trusted friends via an EMG trigger activated by clenching fist

Neil K. SheridanNeil K. Sheridan 09/14/2017 at 18:570 Comments

Example of operating instructions. It is called HelpAI because I called it this when it was an xprize entry. It didn't make the semi-finals :-( Anyway, these give an idea of what it's all about, but are not entirely correct for my updated version. You can see it was going to use the Guardian Circle smartphone app to alert trusted friends.


The HelpAI system is designed to allow you to trigger an alert message that is sent to your network of emergency responders discretely and quickly in case of physical attack. You can trigger the alert message by making a fist with your left/right hand and holding it for 60 seconds. For the system to function, you will need to wear a special armband just below your elbow at all times. This armband will be continuously monitoring your hand, so if your hand remains in a close fist position for 60 seconds, it will send a message to your smart-phone informing it that you may have triggered an alert message.


You should hold your hand closed in a fist position for 60 seconds or greater. It doesn't matter if you hold it in this position for longer than that, but you must hold it in the fist position for at least 60 seconds! Once the system has detected this it will ask your smart-phone if it has access to either WiFi or mobile networks in order to notify your emergency responder network. If it determines you do have access to WiFi or mobile networks via your smart-phone it will inform you by vibrating your armband for 10 seconds approximately.  Once you receive this vibration you can be sure that the system has notified your emergency responder network that your require assistance.


In some situations the system may incorrectly think you wish to trigger an alert! Perhaps you are shaking your fist at someone! Or perhaps you are trying to open a jar or bottle! Or gripping something tightly! In these situations, the system will again provide that vibration that it has detected an alert and is ready to notify your emergency responder network. You now need to access your HelpAI smart-phone application and enter your passcode to cancel the alert. You will have 60 seconds to perform this action from the time your confirmation vibration begins.


1. Download the HelpAI app and the Guardian Circle app from the app store using your smart phone

2. Complete instructions for setting up your network of emergency responders using Guardian Circle

3. Enter the HelpAI app and follow setup instructions to enter your cancellation of alert password and couple using bluetooth with the armband. Remember to leave bluetooth and wifi active on your smart-phone at all times!

4. Try out putting on your armband! You should place it around 3 fingers width from your elbow, on the inside part of your upper forearm. The images in the HelpAI app will guide you through the placement process.

5. Now you are all ready to go! Let's try triggering an alert and then cancelling it! Hold you hand in a fist for 60 seconds and see what happens! You should get a vibration on your armband! Now open your HelpAI app and cancel the alert by entering your cancellation of alert password.

6. Now, for a final check! Let's notify the people in your emergency responders network that you are going to try out the system and see if it works! Give them all a text/whatsapp/DM/etc. that you are just trialling the system and not to worry! For example "I am going to try my new HelpAI system at 9pm so this is just a test but please let me know when you received my alert!"

7. Now, hold your hand in a fist for 60 seconds. You'll get that vibration on your armband. Don't do anything!  Give it a couple of minutes and check your notifications! Hopefully they will all be saying "we got your alert".

8. So you are done! Just remember when you might send out false alerts! Shaking fists at colleagues for instance!? Or when you are struggling to open a jar or bottle!


The HelpAI system will let your know when the battery for your armband is low via notifications on your smart-phone using the HelpAI app. You can charge your armband using your laptop or other USB hub. You'll need a USB to micro-USB cable to charge it.