The Future of Campus Safety

Photo courtesy of thecampanil.com

Photo courtesy of thecampanil.com

 

Alice Mungyu ’19
Features Editor

Recently, Robocopp invented the first connected personal alarm, ROBORanger, that sounds a roaring 130-decibel alarm while simultaneously mobilizing a professional 911 response. Alarms are the most effective non-violent method to prevent unwanted contact, and this new device will revolutionize personal safety technology and move us away from dependency on a smartphone battery.  The Sophian got in touch with the company to tell us a little more about the product.

Who is the founder, and what inspired him/her to create this?

The CEO, Sam Mansen, was looking for something to make his younger sister safer on her college campus. He and his sister didn’t want to use pepper spray for a few reasons:

1. It requires you to confront an attacker, which a lot of people don’t want to do.

2. It can be used against you.

He wanted something non-violent, that could prevent a confrontation in the first place so he gave her a personal alarm. She loved it, and soon her friends all started asking for them. Mansen was surprised to find upon further investigation that although pepper spray, knives and other small weapons are commonly thought of as the go-to for personal safety,  most people don’t actually use their pepper spray. After extensive academic research into crime deterrence, we found that a loud alarm was one of the best possible deterrents.

How does this product work?

It’s very easy to use. You just pull the cap off and the siren will activate. It’s loud enough to startle and deter a potential attacker and alerts other people that you need help. The device is water-resistant so it even works if it is submersed under water.

It seems as though the target audience is college students. Why is that?

It certainly serves college students immensely, but we’ve never targeted one particular audience. The device is so popular on college campuses that we actually created an entire web portal just for students and admin: ROBOCOPPCampus.com.

Students and campuses love it because it’s:

1. Small

2. Affordable

3. Non-violent (zero risk of hurting yourself)

4. Has prevented muggings

How does this transform the future of campus safety and how does this product differ from calling Campus Police?

First of all, it prevents muggings! The most recent case was at UC Berkeley. Students use this regularly to ward off dangerous threats. They send us emails and upload stories and photos to our website: robocopp.com

Second of all, this is a criminal deterrent. One study done by the International Institute of Criminology cited that 68 percent of criminals would leave a crime scene completely empty handed once an alarm is heard.

We felt it was important to address the prevention of a criminal attack first and foremost.

The great by-product of the deterrent being a loud alarm is that it enhances abilities of campus safety and police officers by giving them a way to respond more quickly. They can follow the sound as opposed to simply patrolling. This customer story is a great example of that:

“My son is a college student, and last night as he was going to his car he noticed a man following him. He noticed when he crossed the street so did the man following him, so he pulled his alarm. The man took off running and campus security came over to see what was happening.”

This product is available at robocopp.com, on Amazon and at DormCo.com for $15.99.

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