TSS Agency The idea arose in the middle of a pandemic, when cases of gender-based violence worsened as many women had to quarantine with their attackers. Engineer Hector Lacomi, a researcher at the Institute of Scientific and Technical Research for Defense (CITEDEF), received a request from his wife, Mariana. “You who are an engineer, can’t you do something to alert the woman that she is in a dangerous situation?” he said.
Lacomi took the glove and began sketching a project. He recalled a murder case in those days in which a woman could not report her position because she was in an area without cell phone coverage and decided to focus on that problem. In this way, along with other engineers and technicians from CITEDEF, an institute that belongs to the nation’s Ministry of Defense (MINDEF), they began work on the development of the “Mariana Device”, an alert system for containment. Feminicides that will work even in areas without internet or cell phone coverage.
“It consists of two devices connected to each other. One is placed in an anklet to be worn by the person who must follow the distance of the circumference given to it and the other is worn by the person who is at risk of being attacked. We thought of making something small, resistant and easy to transport, which does not fall prey to the person carrying with them and which can be used especially in areas without cell phone coverage, as still our country there is a large part of what doesn’t have it”, he tells TSS Lacomi, researcher at CITEDEF’s Department of Research on Lasers and Their Applications (DEILAP).
After explaining the idea to the director of CITEDEF, Pablo Bolcato, the researchers met with officials from MINDEF and the Ministry of Women, Gender and Diversity to present the project and learn about the needs of these organizations. The proposal was well received by both the regions and the team started working on the first version of the device, which could improve on what is currently there.
“What is commonly used for these cases is a domestic prison-type anklet that is attached to a device that the person has and in case of alarm, the police are informed. It has two limits. On the one hand, the perimeter is attached to the house, not to a person. On the other hand, you need a cellular or Wi-Fi network to send the notice. In our case, although without a Wi-Fi network it would not be possible to give immediate notice to the police, the person who may be attacked receives an alert on their device that the attacker is nearby and this gives them an opportunity to take shelter . Ask for more help,” Lacomi explains.
To achieve this connection, the device uses what is known as a point-to-point protocol, a data link system used to establish a direct connection between two nodes on a network. This protocol acts as if it were a train consisting of several wagons that move from one device to another. Within these wagons, different measurements are marked depending on what you want to monitor. This information reaches the receiving device, which, in turn, adds another car, georeferencing the person.
In return, all that data is stored in a . is connected to software Surveillance, which may be on a computer located in a municipal or police unit. It is a technique commonly used to control processes that do not require large amounts of data transmission, for example, to monitor traffic lights in an area or to know whether Have the block’s garbage containers full and optimize the tour with a garbage truck.
The distance from which the alarm will be activated will depend on the specified circumference in each case. But with regard to technology, the engineer remarks: “If the person is outside, rather in remote areas, we manage to reach a distance of 600 to a thousand meters. When used in a city, we have a distance of 300 meters due to interference from other signals and tall buildings, but this is more than a judicious distance that gives time to take action.
Currently, the researchers have completed Phase 1 of development, which involves creating a technology demonstration model. At that stage, they were able to evaluate the operation of the data frame and correct system errors. They are now starting the second phase, which involves the development of five or six more tools to start building the surveillance network. they are also designing software Who will be in charge of real-time monitoring of the equipment.
“We already know how communication works between device one and device two. Now we want to see what happens if we have more because the idea is to have a monitoring network that geo-references them all. In addition, there is a team that will continue to work on optimizing the technology with respect to various factors: weather conditions, at what height should the antenna be placed, we can monitor the maximum capacity of the equipment, among other issues. can”, indicates Lacomi.
Although several steps are still missing to reach the final product, the researchers point out that one of the central points of this development is that the technology must be rigorously tested and supervised by the ministries involved (defense, science, gender). Because what is at stake in these cases is a person’s life. At the same time, it highlights the importance of the national state in promoting such developments that address the problem of gender violence.
“These are things that are not to be left in the hands of the private sector and I think it is our duty as trained researchers at public universities to be able to contribute something from our places,” says Engineer. And he concludes: “We thought it would be something simple to replicate. We don’t have the scale of production in our lab, but the idea is to transfer the technology to military manufacturing or some other state agency that’s in charge of production.” Can take