Grope me at your peril!

A team of three Indian engineering students, including 20 year-old Monisha Mohan, has invented an anti-rape, bra-like device that responds to aggressive pinching and pulling at a woman� breasts.

The anti-rape bra

The anti-rape bra

The device was inspired by the brutal mass rape and subsequent death last December of a 23 year-old law student in Delhi that sent shock-waves throughout the world.

Mohan calls the device � retaliation against menaces in society.
Mohan and her fellow-students, Rimpy Tripathy and Niladri Basu, from the Indian state of Chennai set out to invent electrified ‘anti-rape lingerie’ to protect women from sexual assault.  Apart from giving would-be rapist a severe shock, the bra carries GPS and GSM devices which send an alert to the victim’s parents and the police in the event of an attack.

The anti-rape bra inventors

The anti-rape bra inventors

Called Society Harnessing Equipment (SHE) it comes equipped with a shock circuit board near the bra. The lingerie can send more than 82 high voltage electric shocks to the assailant – enough to cause severe burn marks.

Rape is a common occurrence in many parts of the world,” said Mohan. “We thought it would not come to an end until some innovative idea for solving this problem comes out. Discussions on rape cases alone are no solution. We need to do something practical to stop rapes. The Delhi rape incident motivated us to find ways.”

The SHE device is an undergarment which is set up inside the innerwear of a woman in a way that when pressure is applied to it during an assault, a strong electric shock is generated.

Simultaneously, the device sends out two messages – one to the police station and other to a family member.

At the moment, the anti-rape bra is not available in the shops as the team is busy making it more compact and more effective. But if a company does start manufacturing it, Mohan said the team would like to make the device as cheap as possible.

We would want it to reach every section of society and not be only affordable to the affluent. Our objective is to protect women and not to earn profit.


Full of Cold Air?

By Robert Harland
Tata's proposed Air Car

Tata's proposed Air Car

In 2008, Tata Motors, India’s largest car manufacturer, announced it had joined forces with French company, Motor Development International (MDI), to produce the world’s first car to run on nothing but compressed air.

Wow! This would be the greenest of green cars. Tata said its Air Car could achieve speeds of almost 70mph (112kph) and would have a range of 125 miles (217km) between fill-ups. And the price would be a very reasonable US$13,000 (Php566,000).

Tata said this in 2008. So where’s the car chaps? Dates for the Air Car’s much-publicized release in both Indian and American markets have come and gone, but still no car.

In 2009 the company admitted it had run into some serious snags as the excessively low engine temperature caused by the compressed air was a major problem. These issues seem to be significant though Tata has refused to say if it’s calling off the project.

The Air Car -- will it see the light of day?

The Air Car -- will it see the light of day?

If the project is cancelled it would be a great blow. Just imagine filling up now and again with Php100 worth of air rather than thousands of pesos for gas!

Although the Air Car may never make it to the market, two Indian mechanical engineering professors are working on a more  modest compressed air engine project.

Professors Bharat Raj Singh and Onkar Singh from the SMS Institute for Technology in Lucknow are working on a scheme to refit India’s scooters with an air-compression motor.

Unlike the Air Car, the scooter motor will run on low pressure compressed air — about the same as needed to fill a tire at the gas station. The Tata vehicle would require stations to install high-tech air pumps, a difficult investment for station owners in a developing country like India.

The scooter engine is still very much in the development stage. The professors say a number of technical challenges remain. Range is an issue — at the moment it’s a mere 18 miles (28km).

Although a vehicle running on only compressed air might seem like an environment’s dream, they would still have a carbon footprint.  India relies heavily on dirty coal-fired power plants so the use of thousands of compressed air vehicles would actually increase the total emissions sent into the atmosphere because of the huge amount of electricity needed to run the compressors.