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United States Patent Application 20170196294
Kind Code A1
Fischer; Kurt V. ;   et al. July 13, 2017

REMOVING PADS WITHIN A HELMET CONTACTING A WEARER'S HEAD WHILE MINIMIZING MOVEMENT OF THE WEARER'S HEAD DURING REMOVAL

Abstract

Pads on an interior of a helmet contact portions of a wearer's head to secure the helmet to the wearer's head. To simplify removal of the helmet from the wearer's head, an exterior surface of a helmet includes an opening and a pad, or a receptacle plate to which a pad is coupled, includes a fastener opening. The opening in the helmet and the fastener opening in the pad are aligned and a fastener is inserted into the opening in the helmet so fastener is also inserted to the fastener opening in the pad, securing the pad to an interior surface of the helmet. To remove the pad from the interior of the helmet, the fastener is removed from the fastener opening in the pad. As the fastener is accessible from the exterior surface of the helmet, the pad may be removed with minimal movement of the wearer's head.


Inventors: Fischer; Kurt V.; (Edmonds, WA) ; Rogers; Susan Lucille; (Coupeville, WA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

VICIS, Inc.

Seattle

WA

US
Family ID: 1000002408276
Appl. No.: 15/399055
Filed: January 5, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
62276663Jan 8, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A42B 3/08 20130101; A42B 3/326 20130101
International Class: A42B 3/32 20060101 A42B003/32; A42B 3/08 20060101 A42B003/08

Claims



1. A method comprising: aligning a fastener opening in a pad assembly with an opening of a helmet, a surface of the pad assembly contacting an interior surface of the helmet and the opening of the helmet extending from the exterior surface of the helmet to an interior surface of the helmet; inserting a fastener into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet, the fastener at least partially extending through the opening of the helmet and into the fastener opening in the pad assembly; and securing the pad assembly to the internal surface of the helmet by securing the fastener to the fastener opening in the pad assembly.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising: removing the fastener from the fastener opening in the pad assembly; and removing the pad assembly from the helmet.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein securing the pad assembly to the internal surface of the helmet by securing the fastener to the opening in the pad assembly comprises: aligning a ball in the fastener with a detent in the fastener opening in the pad assembly.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein removing the fastener from the fastener opening in the jaw pad assembly comprises: repositioning the fastener so the ball in the fastener is not aligned with the detent in the fastener opening in the pad assembly.

5. The method of claim 2, wherein securing the pad assembly to the internal surface of the helmet by securing the fastener to the fastener opening in the pad assembly comprises: inserting a portion of the fastener into a detent in a snap base that comprises the fastener opening in the pad assembly.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein removing the fastener from the opening in the jaw pad assembly comprises: removing the portion of the fastener from the detent in the snap base that comprises the fastener opening in the pad assembly.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the pad assembly comprises a jaw pad coupled to a receptacle plate including the fastener opening, and aligning the opening in the pad assembly with the opening of the helmet comprises: aligning the fastener opening in the receptacle plate with the opening of the helmet.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein inserting the fastener into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet comprises: inserting the fastener into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet so a portion of the fastener is inserted into the fastener opening in the receptacle plate.

9. The method of claim 1, further comprising: removing the pad assembly from the fastener while the fastener remains inserted into the opening of the helmet.

10. A system comprising: a helmet including an opening extending from an exterior surface of the helmet through an interior surface of the helmet; a receptacle plate including a fastener opening, the receptacle plate configured to be positioned proximate to the interior surface of the helmet so the fastener opening of the receptacle plate is aligned with the opening of the helmet; a jaw pad configured to be coupled to the receptacle plate; and a fastener configured to be inserted into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet so a portion of the fastener extends through the opening of the helmet and into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate securing the receptacle plate to the interior surface of the helmet, while another portion of the fastener remains accessible from the external surface of the helmet.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the receptacle plate is further configured to be removed from the interior surface of the helmet in response to the portion of the fastener extending into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate being removed from the fastener opening of the receptacle plate.

12. The system of claim 10, further comprising an insert configured to be inserted into the opening of the helmet and including a securing mechanism, the fastener configured to be inserted into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet so the portion of the fastener extends through the insert and into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate, and the fastener is secured by the securing mechanism when the fastener is tightened.

13. The system of claim 10, wherein the jaw pad is configured to be compressed against the portion of the fastener extending through the opening of the helmet and into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate.

14. The system of claim 13, wherein the compression of the jaw pad against the portion of the fastener ejects the fastener from the fastener opening of the receptacle plate in response to the fastener being loosened at least a threshold amount.

15. The system of claim 10, wherein the receptacle plate further includes a spring positioned proximate to the fastener opening of the receptacle plate, the spring configured to be compressed when the portion of the fastener is inserted into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate and secured in the fastener opening of the receptacle plate.

16. The system of claim 15, wherein the spring is further configured to eject the fastener from the fastener opening of the receptacle plate in response to the fastener being loosened at least a threshold amount.

17. The system of claim 10, wherein the fastener opening of the receptacle plate includes a living hinge configured to be compressed when the portion of the fastener is inserted into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate and secured in the opening of the receptacle plate.

18. The system of claim 17, wherein the living hinge is further configured to eject the fastener from the fastener opening of the receptacle plate in response to the fastener being loosened at least a threshold amount.

19. The system of claim 10, wherein the jaw pad is configured to be removed from the receptacle plate while the portion of the fastener remains inserted into the fastener opening of the receptacle plate.

20. A system comprising: a helmet including an opening extending from an exterior surface of the helmet through an interior surface of the helmet; a jaw pad including a fastener opening, the jaw pad configured to be positioned proximate to the interior surface of the helmet so the fastener opening of the jaw pad is aligned with the opening of the helmet; a fastener configured to be inserted into the opening of the helmet from the exterior surface of the helmet so a portion of the fastener extends through the opening of the helmet and into the fastener opening of the jaw pad securing the jaw pad to the interior surface of the helmet, while another portion of the fastener remains accessible from the external surface of the helmet.

21. The system of claim 20, wherein the jaw pad is further configured to be removed from the interior surface of the helmet in response to the portion of the fastener extending into the fastener opening of the jaw pad being removed from the fastener opening of the jaw pad.

22. The system of claim 20, wherein the fastener opening of the jaw pad includes a living hinge configured to be compressed when the portion of the fastener is inserted into the fastener opening of the jaw pad and secured in the fastener opening of the jaw pad.

23. The system of claim 22, wherein the living hinge is further configured to eject the fastener from the fastener opening of the jaw pad in response to the fastener being loosened at least a threshold amount.

24. The system of claim 20, wherein the jaw pad is configured to be removed from the jaw pad while the portion of the fastener remains inserted into the fastener opening of the jaw pad.

25. The system of claim 20, wherein the fastener opening is mechanically coupled to the jaw pad.

26. The system of claim 20, wherein the fastener opening is integrally formed in the jaw pad.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/276,663, filed Jan. 8, 2016, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

[0002] This invention relates generally to protective helmets, and more specifically to removing pads within a protective helmet contacting a wearer while minimizing movement of the wearer's head during removal.

[0003] In many applications, helmets protect wearers' heads from impact to provide wearers with protection from injury. For example, helmets protect participants in football and lacrosse from injury caused by impact to the participants' heads. Pads included in an interior of a helmet contact portions of a wearer's head and aid to securing the helmet to the wearer's head. Many helmets include jaw pads positioned along an interior surface of the helmets and contacting a wearer's jaw when the helmet is worn.

[0004] However, during certain emergency situations, for example when a head, neck, or spine injury has been sustained, pads in a helmet's interior aiding in securing the helmet to the wearer's head may complicate removal of the helmet from the wearer's head. For example, jaw pads are conventionally secured to a helmet through hook and loop fasteners or snap fasteners. If a jaw pad is to be removed from a helmet while a wearer's head is in the helmet, conventional fasteners require prying the jaw pad away from the interior surface of the helmet to release the fasteners, which may cause undesirable movement of the wearer's head that may increase a risk of injury to the wearer.

SUMMARY

[0005] Pads, such as jaw pads, on an interior of a helmet contact portions of a wearer's head to secure the helmet to the wearer's head. In certain situations, such as when a head, neck, or spine injury has been sustained, minimizing movement of the wearer's head while removing the helmet from the wearer's head is desirable. However, contact between pads and portions of the wearer's head securing the helmet to the wearer's head may make removal of the helmet difficult without moving the wearer's head.

[0006] To simplify removal of the helmet from the wearer's head, pads may be removed from contacting the wearer's head via various mechanisms that couple a pad to an interior of the helmet while allowing the pad to be removed from the helmet with minimal movement of the wearer's head or minimal rotation or translation of the wearer's cervical spine or occipital joint. However, these mechanisms maintain attachment of the pad to the interior of the helmet under normal circumstances when inadvertent detachment would be undesirable. For example, an exterior surface of a helmet includes an opening, while a pad assembly includes a fastener opening. In some embodiments, the pad assembly is a jaw pad to which a fastener opening is coupled through any suitable method. Alternatively, the pad assembly comprises the jaw pad coupled to a receptacle plate that includes the fastener opening.

[0007] The opening in the helmet and the fastener opening in the pad assembly are aligned and a fastener is inserted into the opening in the helmet, which is configured so the fastener is also inserted to the fastener opening in the pad assembly (or in the receptacle plate) to secure the pad assembly to an interior surface of the helmet. The fastener may secure the pad assembly to the interior surface of the helmet through any suitable mechanism, such as a threaded interconnection, a spring, an adhesive, or a cam retention feature. As another example, the fastener is a snap post and the fastener opening of the pad assembly comprises a snap base into which the snap post snaps to secure the pad assembly to the interior surface of the helmet. To remove the pad from the interior of the helmet, the fastener is removed from the fastener opening of the pad assembly, allowing the pad assembly to be repositioned relative to the interior surface of the helmet. As the fastener is accessible from the exterior surface of the helmet, the pad assembly may be removed from the interior of the helmet with minimal movement of the wearer's head.

[0008] Various other mechanisms may be used to couple a pad to the interior surface of the helmet while simplifying removal of the pad from the interior surface of the helmet. For example, a removable adhesive is applied to a surface of the pad and the surface of the pad to which the adhesive was applied is affixed to the interior surface of the helmet. As another example, the pad comprises a core material encased by a covering. An opening is created in the covering and the core material is removed from the pad via the opening, decreasing contact between the pad and the wearer's head to allow the helmet to be more easily moved relative to the wearer's head. Alternatively, a connector is threaded through an opening in an exterior surface of the helmet into an opening in a pad so the connector is accessible from the exterior surface of the helmet. Tension is applied to the connector to secure the pad to an interior surface of the helmet. To remove the pad, the connector is removed via the exterior surface of the helmet, allowing the pad to move relative to the interior surface of the helmet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIGS. 1A and 1B are diagrams of external fasteners coupling a jaw pad to an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0010] FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of a jaw pad coupled to an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0011] FIG. 2B is a perspective view of a jaw pad 100 coupled to an interior surface of the helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0012] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a jaw pad detached from an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a jaw pad coupled to an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0014] FIG. 5 is a component view of a system for coupling a jaw pad to an interior of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0015] FIG. 6 is a conceptual diagram of a jaw pad configured to be deformed when removing a helmet from a wearer's head, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0016] FIG. 7 is a diagram of a latch coupling a jaw pad to an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0017] FIG. 8 is a diagram of a connector coupling a jaw pad to an interior surface of a helmet, in accordance with an embodiment.

[0018] The figures depict various embodiments of the present invention for purposes of illustration only. One skilled in the art will readily recognize from the following discussion that alternative embodiments of the structures and methods illustrated herein may be employed without departing from the principles of the invention described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Removable Securing a Jaw Pad to an Interior Surface of a Helmet

[0019] FIGS. 1A and 1B are diagrams of external fasteners coupling a pad assembly 100 to a helmet 105. The pad assembly 100 shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B comprises a jaw pad 107 coupled to a receptacle plate 110 through a hook and loop fastener, a chemical adhesive, or any other fastening mechanism. In other embodiments, the pad assembly 100 comprises the jaw pad 107 or one or more fastener openings coupled to the jaw pad 107. Hence, in the embodiment of FIGS. 1A and 1B the jaw pad 107 may be removed from the receptacle plate 110 by detaching the fastening mechanism, allowing the receptacle plate 110 to remain in a constant position while the jaw pad 107 is removed from the receptacle plate 110. In other embodiments, the jaw pad 107 is coupled to the receptacle plate 110 via compression molding, is mechanically fixed to the receptacle plate 110, or is secured to the receptacle plate 110 via any other suitable method. The pad assembly 100 includes a fastener opening 115 that aligns with an opening 120 in an external surface of the helmet 105. To couple the pad assembly 100 to the helmet 105, a fastener 125 is inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105, which is configured so the fastener 125 is also inserted to the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly 100. FIG. 1B shows the fastener 125 inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105 and inserted into the fastener opening 115 of the receptacle plate 110 of the pad assembly 100 to secure the pad assembly 110 to an interior surface of the helmet 105. Alternatively, the fastener 125 is inserted into a fastener opening 115 included in the jaw pad 107 itself, securing the jaw pad 107 to the interior surface of the helmet 105 without the jaw pad 107 being coupled to the receptacle plate 110. In other embodiments, a fastener opening 115 is coupled to the jaw pad 107 via any suitable fastening mechanism.

[0020] Any suitable type of fastener 125 may be used to secure the pad assembly 100 to the interior surface of the helmet 105. As an example, the opening 120 in the helmet 105 and the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly 100 are threaded, and the fastener 125 is a screw. Alternatively, the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly includes a ball detent and the fastener 125 comprises a hollow cylinder including a ball and a spring or a living hinge applying pressure to the ball; when the ball in the fastener 125 is aligned with the detent in the fastener opening 115, the ball is partially inserted into the detent. As another example, the fastener 125 is a cam screw and the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly 100 includes a cam lock nut to secure the pad assembly 100 to the interior surface of the helmet 105. As an additional example, the fastener 125 is a quarter-turn fastener configured to be secured to a portion of the fastener opening 115 of the pad assembly 100 when the fastener 125 is rotated one-quarter turn from a reference position. In other embodiments, the fastener 125 and the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 may use any suitable securing mechanism. As another example, the fastener 125 is a snap post and the fastener opening 115 of the pad assembly comprises a snap base into which the snap post is snapped to secure the pad assembly 100 to the interior surface of the helmet 105. Examples of alternative securing mechanisms include: a rotational ball lock, a push-pull ball lock, a push-pull spring lock, and a magnetic locking mechanism; however, any suitable securing mechanism may be used in other embodiments. During normal maintenance of the helmet 105, the pad assembly 100 is removed from the fastener 125, while the fastener 125 remains secured into the opening 120 in the helmet 105.

[0021] In an emergency injury situation, to remove the jaw pad 100 from the helmet 105, the fastener 125 is removed from the opening 115 in the pad assembly 100, causing causes the pad assembly 100 to become unsecured from the interior surface of the helmet 105. In some embodiments, the pad assembly 100 is compressed against the fastener 125 so that the fastener 125 is ejected from the fastener opening 115 when it is loosened more than a threshold amount from the fastener opening 115. Alternatively, the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly 100 includes a spring that is compressed when the fastener 125 is secured in the fastener opening 115 and ejects the fastener 125 from the fastener opening 115 when the fastener 125 is loosened at least a threshold amount from the opening 115. With the fastener 125 removed from the opening 115 in the pad assembly 100, the pad assembly 100 can be moved vertically relative to the wearer's head, allowing the pad assembly 100 to be moved from its position on the interior of the helmet 105 to an opening at the base of the helmet 105 to remove the pad assembly 100 from the interior of the helmet 105 without moving the wearer's head. Removing the pad assembly 100 from the interior of the helmet 105 allows more freedom of movement for the wearer's jaw without removing the helmet 105 from the wearer's head. Additionally, removing the pad assembly 100 from the interior of the helmet 105 allows the helmet 105 to be lifted vertically away from the wearer's head without movement or undue pressure to the wearer. While FIGS. 1A and 1B show an example where the pad assembly 100 includes a receptacle plate 110 including the fastener opening 115 into which the fastener 125 is inserted, in alternative embodiments, the pad assembly 100 comprises a jaw pad 107 including the fastener opening 115 or a jaw pad 107 to which a fastener opening 115 is coupled. Hence, the fastener 125 is inserted through the opening 120 in the helmet 105 into the fastener opening 115 in the pad assembly 100 to secure the pad assembly 100 to the interior surface of the helmet 105.

[0022] FIG. 2A is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a jaw pad 107 coupled to an interior surface of the helmet 105. As shown in FIG. 2A, a fastener 125 is inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105, which is configured so the fastener 125 is also inserted to the fastener opening 115 in a receptacle plate 110, which secures the receptacle plate 110 to an interior surface of the helmet 105. Alternatively, the fastener opening 115 is included in the jaw pad 107 or coupled to the jaw pad 107, so the fastener 125 is inserted into the opening in the helmet 105 and into the fastener opening 115 in the jaw pad 107 or coupled to the jaw pad 107 to secure the jaw pad 107 to the interior surface of the helmet 105. In the example of FIG. 2A, the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 includes a spring 210 configured to apply pressure to a portion of the fastener 125 inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 to secure the portion of the fastener 125 inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110.

[0023] FIG. 2B is a perspective view of an embodiment of a jaw pad 107 coupled to an interior of a helmet 105. As shown in FIG. 2B, one or more fasteners 125 are inserted into one or more openings 120 in the helmet 105 through an exterior surface of the helmet 105. As further described above in conjunction with FIGS. 1A and 1B, inserting a fastener 125 into an opening 120 in the helmet 105 causes a portion of the fastener 125 to be inserted into a fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110, which secures the receptacle plate 110, to which the jaw pad is coupled 107, to an interior surface of the helmet 105. Alternatively, the jaw pad 107 is not coupled to a receptacle plate 110, but one or more fastener openings 115 are included in the jaw pad 107 or coupled to the jaw pad 107, so inserting the fastener 125 into the opening 120 in the helmet 105 causes a portion of the fastener to be inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the jaw pad 107, or coupled to the jaw pad 107, securing the jaw pad 107 to an interior surface of the helmet 105.

[0024] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a pad assembly 100 detached from a helmet 105. In the example of FIG. 3, the pad assembly 100 comprises a jaw pad 107 coupled to a receptacle plate 110. A fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 is configured to receive a portion of a fastener 125 that is inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 via an opening 120 in the helmet 105. The fastener 125 is inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105 from an exterior surface of the helmet 105, which couples the receptacle plate 110 to which the jaw pad 107 is coupled to the interior surface of the helmet 105. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, an insert 310 is inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105, and the fastener 125 is inserted into the insert 310. In various embodiments, the insert includes a securing mechanism that holds the fastener 125 in place when secured. For example, the insert 310 includes a ball detent and the fastener 125 comprises a hollow cylinder including a ball and a spring applying pressure to the ball; when the ball in the fastener 125 is aligned with the detent in the insert 310, the ball is partially inserted into the detent, securing the fastener 125. As an additional example, the fastener 125 is a quarter-turn fastener configured to be secured to a portion of the insert 310 when the fastener 125 is rotated one-quarter turn from a reference position. As another example, the fastener 125 is a snap post and the fastener opening 115 of the pad assembly comprises a snap base having a detent snap into which the snap post is secured to mechanically affix the receptacle plate 110 to the interior surface of the helmet 105. Examples of alternative securing mechanisms include: a rotational ball lock, a push-pull ball lock, a push-pull spring lock, and a magnetic locking mechanism; however, any suitable securing mechanism may be used in other embodiments.

[0025] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a jaw pad 110 coupled to an interior surface of the helmet 105. As shown in FIG. 2A, a fastener 125 is inserted into the opening 120 in the helmet 105, which is configured so the fastener 125 is also inserted to the opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110, which secures the receptacle plate 110 to an interior surface of the helmet 105. In the example of FIG. 4, the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 includes a securing mechanism 410 configured to secure a portion of the fastener 125 inserted into the opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 to the receptacle plate 110. For example, the securing mechanism 410 is a living hinge. In various embodiments, the securing mechanism 410 applies pressure to the portion of the fastener 125 when the fastener 125 has a particular orientation relative to a reference orientation and releases pressure from the fastener 125 when the fastener 125 has a different orientation relative to the reference orientation. For example, the securing mechanism 410 allows the fastener 125 to be moved within the fastener opening 115 when the fastener 125 has the reference orientation, while the securing mechanism 410 prevents the fastener 125 from moving within the fastener opening 115 when the fastener 115 has an orientation that is perpendicular to the reference orientation. Hence, positioning the fastener 125 to have the particular orientation relative to the reference orientation causes the securing mechanism 410 to secure the fastener 125 to the receptacle plate 110, while repositioning the fastener 125 to an alternative orientation relative to the reference orientation causes the securing mechanism 410 to allow the fastener 125 to move within the fastener opening 115. In various embodiments, the securing mechanism 410 may be any suitable mechanism.

[0026] FIG. 5 is a component view of one embodiment of a system 500 for coupling a pad assembly to a helmet 105. In the system 500 shown by FIG. 5, the pad assembly 100 comprises a jaw pad 107 configured to be coupled to a receptacle plate 110. As further described above in conjunction with FIG. 1A, the jaw pad 107 may be coupled to the receptacle plate 110 via a hook and loop fastener, a chemical adhesive, or any other suitable fastener. In other embodiments, the jaw pad 107 is coupled to the receptacle plate 110 via compression molding, is mechanically fixed to the receptacle plate 110, or is secured to the receptacle plate 110 via any other suitable method. The receptacle plate 110 includes one or more fastener openings 115 that align with one or more corresponding openings 120 in the helmet 105. Additionally, in the embodiment shown by FIG. 5, one or more springs 210 are configured to be positioned proximate to the one or more fastener openings 115 of the receptacle plate 110. Alternatively, the fastener openings 115 include one or more living hinges formed from the material that comprises the receptacle plate 110. For example, a spring 210 (or a living hinge) is configured to be positioned around a circumference of an fastener opening 115 of the receptacle plate 110, such as further described above in conjunction with FIG. 2A.

[0027] As shown in FIG. 5, the system 500 includes a helmet 105 having one or more openings 120 configured to align with the one or more fastener openings 115 of the pad assembly 100. In the example of FIG. 5, the openings 120 of the helmet 105 are configured to aligned with fastener openings 115 of the receptacle plate 110. When the receptacle plate 110 is positioned proximate to an interior surface of the helmet 105 so the one or more fastener openings 115 of the receptacle plate 110 align with the one or more openings 120 of the helmet 105, one or more fasteners 125 are configured to be inserted into each of the openings 120 of the helmet 105 via the external surface of the helmet 105. When a fastener 125 is inserted into an opening of the helmet 105, a portion of the fastener 125 remains accessible via the external surface of the helmet 105, while an additional portion of the fastener 125 is inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110 to secure the receptacle plate 110 to the interior surface of the helmet 105, as further described above in conjunction with FIG. 1B. In the example shown by FIG. 5, an insert 310 is configured to be inserted into an opening 120--in the helmet 105 so the fastener 125 is inserted into the insert 310 and passes through the insert 310 so a portion of the fastener 125 is inserted into the fastener opening 115 in the receptacle plate 110. The insert 310 may include one or more securing mechanisms, such as those further described above in conjunction with FIG. 1A, to hold the fastener 125 in place when secured to affix the receptacle plate to the interior surface of the helmet 105.

[0028] FIG. 6 is a conceptual diagram of a jaw pad 600 configured to be deformed when removing a helmet 605 from a wearer's head. In the example of FIG. 6, the jaw pad 600 comprises a core material 610 encased by a covering 615. The core material 610 is a deformable material in various embodiments. Examples of deformable materials include foam, an elastomer, or any other suitable material. The core material 610 may be removable (e.g., a foam insert) from the covering 615 or may be injected (e.g., a fast curing elastomer or epoxy) into the covering 615 in various embodiments. In some embodiments, the jaw pad 600 is compression molded to form the covering 615 encasing a hollow internal opening into which the core material 610 is inserted or to form the covering 615 encasing one or more fabric layers as the core material 610.

[0029] The jaw pad 600 in FIG. 6 is coupled to an interior surface of a helmet 605 through a hook and loop fastener, a chemical adhesive, or any other suitable fastener. Hence, the jaw pad 600 may be removed from the interior surface of the helmet 605 through conventional methods in certain scenarios. However, to remove the helmet 605 from a wearer's head 620 with minimal movement of the wearer's head, a portion of the covering 615 is removed from the jaw pad 600 and the core material 610 of the jaw pad 600 is removed 630 from the jaw pad 600 through an opening 635 created from removal of the portion of the covering 615. For example, a portion of the covering 615 is cut to create the opening 635, and the core material 610 of the jaw pad 600 is removed 630 via the opening 635. Removing the core material 610 decreases a thickens of the jaw pad 600 so it does not contact a portion of the wearer's head 625, allowing the helmet to be moved vertically relative to the wearer's head 620 for removal.

[0030] In other embodiments, a jaw pad includes an adjustment mechanism configured to modify contact between the jaw pad and a portion of a wearer's head when a helmet including the jaw pad is worn. The adjustment mechanism may be any mechanism capable of modifying positioning of the jaw pad relative to the wearer's head. Example adjustment mechanisms include: a ratcheting mechanism coupled to a surface of the jaw pad and coupled to an interior surface of a helmet, a spring pin, a bladder coupled to an interior surface of the helmet and to the surface of the jaw pad (e.g., filling the bladder with a gas or with a liquid expands the bladder and pushes the jaw pad towards an interior of the helmet). To remove the helmet in certain situations, the adjustment mechanism is modified to reduce contact between the jaw pad and the portion of the wearer's head. After reducing contact between the jaw pad and the wearer's head, the helmet may be moved vertically relative to the wearer's head for removal. For example, if the adjustment mechanism is a bladder, air or liquid is removed from the bladder to move the jaw pad away from the interior of the helmet, which reduces contact between the jaw pad and the portion of the wearer's head.

[0031] FIG. 7 is a diagram of a latch coupling a jaw pad 305 to an interior surface of a helmet 710. In the example of FIG. 7, the interior surface of the helmet 710 includes a track 715 and a surface of the jaw pad 705 includes a latch capable of being coupled to various positions on the track 715. Depressing one or more portions of the latch detaches the latch from a position on the track 715 to which the latch is coupled, allowing the jaw pad 705 to move along the track 715 and removed from the helmet. In some embodiments, the latch is a magnetic latch capable of being detached from a position on the track 715 by and additional magnet external to an exterior surface of the helmet 710. For example, the additional magnet is positioned proximate to the exterior surface of the helmet 710 at a location where the track 715 is included in the interior surface of the helmet 710; moving the additional magnet causes the magnetic latch to detach from positions on the track, which moves the jaw pad 705 along the track 715 in a direction corresponding to a direction in which the additional magnet moves. Hence, moving the additional magnet towards a lower boundary of the helmet 710 moves the jaw pad 705 along the track 715, allowing the jaw pad 700 to be detached from the track 715 for removal from the helmet 710.

[0032] FIG. 8 is a diagram of a connector 800 coupling a jaw pad 605 to an interior surface of a helmet 810. For example, the connector 800 is a cord or a flexible strap. In the example of FIG. 8, the connector 800 is threaded through an opening in an exterior surface of the helmet 810 into an opening in a jaw pad 805 so a portion of connector is accessible from the exterior surface of the helmet 810. In some embodiments, the connector 800 is threaded through an opening in the exterior surface of the helmet 810, an opening in the jaw pad 805, an additional opening in the jaw pad 805, and an additional opening in the exterior surface of the helmet 810. Additionally, multiple connectors may be threaded through different opening in the exterior surface of the helmet 810 and through different openings in the jaw pad 805 in various embodiments.

[0033] Tension is applied to the connector 800 to secure the jaw pad 805 to an interior surface of the helmet 810. For example, a cord or a flexible strap is tightened to secure the jaw pad 805 to the interior surface of the helmet 810. To remove the jaw pad 805, the connector 800 is removed via the exterior surface of the helmet 810, allowing the jaw pad 805 to move relative to the interior surface of the helmet 810. In some embodiments, the connector 800 includes a fastening mechanism that maintains tension to the connector 800 when activated and releases tension to the connector 800 when deactivated; hence, deactivating the fastening mechanism allows the jaw pad 805 to be moved relative to the interior surface of the helmet 810 to be removed from the helmet 810. Alternatively, the connector 800 is severed to release tension to the connector 800 and allow removal of the jaw pad 805 from the interior surface of the helmet 810.

[0034] Other mechanisms may be used to couple a jaw pad to the interior surface of the helmet while simplifying removal of the jaw pad from the interior surface of the helmet. For example, a removable adhesive is applied to a surface of the jaw pad and the surface of the pad to which the adhesive was applied is affixed to the interior surface of the helmet. The adhesive may be removed using any suitable method to allow removal of the jaw pad from the interior surface of the helmet. For example, the adhesive may be chemically removed, thermally removed (i.e. via heating or cooling), or mechanically removed (e.g., pulled away). If the adhesive is mechanically removed, the interior surface of the helmet may include characteristics (e.g. guide lines) to identify a location of the jaw pad from which the adhesive may be accessed for removal.

SUMMARY

[0035] The foregoing description of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purpose of illustration; it is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Persons skilled in the relevant art can appreciate that many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above disclosure.

[0036] Some portions of this description describe the embodiments of the invention in terms of algorithms and symbolic representations of operations on information. These algorithmic descriptions and representations are commonly used by those skilled in the data processing arts to convey the substance of their work effectively to others skilled in the art.

[0037] Finally, the language used in the specification has been principally selected for readability and instructional purposes, and it may not have been selected to delineate or circumscribe the inventive subject matter. It is therefore intended that the scope of the invention be limited not by this detailed description, but rather by any claims that issue on an application based hereon.

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