Students John Yin, Cordelia Lee and Adrian Tung taking the Microcontroller course at Cornel have invented a device that can pepper spray an assailant and take his/her mugshot at the same time!
The device, called PepGuard sees a serial JPEG camera, a microcontroller and a canister of pepper spray combined. It connects via Bluetooth to the users’ cellphone and through an Android App the photograph of the mugshot is transferred and saved. The App can also be set to make a warning call to pre-established emergency number when the mace is activated.
Often in situations when you feel threatened enough to pepper spray an attacker, the stress and speed of the incident can make it difficult to identify ones assailant when reporting the attack to the police. With the use of this device, people now have a quick and easy way to help the authorities identify the person responsible for the attack.
From the demo video you can see that PepGuard still has a few glitches, it is rather bulky for a portable protection device and there is the minor problem of ensuring that the pictures it captures aren’t too blurry to be useful in an identification, but it is a pretty nifty idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of device appears on the market in the very near future.
You can read the team’s report here.