The gun, which is still a prototype, is expected to look different in its production version. Today, the device is nearly 1 foot high and weighs between 2 and 3 pounds. In production, however, it is expected to fit inside a woman's purse. Bonneau also expects it to employ more than one MCU in production -- one to handle the microfluidics spray process and another to handle the video challenge.
Bonneau and colleagues focused on making the device easy to use, even for those who've never used pepper spray. "You pull the trigger half-way down, it automatically turns on and calls your security service," he told us. "And because it uses two cameras, the security people can see the reaction on your face, as well as what you're pointing at."
Ouellette, a retired Connecticut State Police lieutenant whose company teaches clients how to deal with aggressive behavior, conjured up the idea as a way of making pepper spray more effective. Even experienced policemen often use the spray incorrectly because they aren't properly trained, he explained. "If you're three feet away from someone, and you do a full burst of pepper spray to the face, nothing's going to happen. From that distance, the carrier can't evaporate, so the individual just gets a face full of yellow stuff."
Bonneau believes the device could appeal to families or to people who are untrained in the use of guns and don't want to keep one around the house. Because it essentially serves as a "smart" weapon, it eliminates the need for novices to mentally calculate the distance to the perpetrator and then to determine how long to squeeze the trigger.
"We know that pepper spray does the job, and does it non-lethally," says Bonneau. "With this, we get can get the chemical out in a form that can be quickly breathed into the lungs."
Communicating through Bluetooth is a good idea. Then you could have an app on the phone that communicates the way you want to. If it is the local police, then that is who is called. I guess that the "issue" is the storage of the video. Perhaps there could be a clooud service for storage of the video. Of course, if you have a service that is set up the way the designer has specified, then you do that. I
I see this as useful for litigation on both sides, as long as the video doesn't conveniently "disappear".
I think there needs to be a reevaluation of how many cell-connected devices one must carry though. If this device is going to call the police for you, one likely has four or more cell-service devices at close hand - the pepper spray can, a cell phone, a tablet such as i-pad, and the on-star service in a car.
I'd rather see this device be blue-tooth connected to my phone.
Glad to hear that the image shown is not the image they were planning to bring to market. There would be no way any one would carry around a device like that--far too big and scary looking.
I suppose that there's high utility in using a pepper spray gun correctly, but I guess I'm of mindset that we don't want to make it too easy. I could see one of these things whipping out on the soccer field as two over-the-top parents from opposing teams go at it. For me, the coolest thing about this innovation is the lessons it can bring in terms of mechatronics design. That's what is most important.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.