If you don’t want to scream in an emergency, or you don’t think you can, get out your Robocopp and pull the pin, just like a grenade. It will sound a claimed 120- or 130-db (decibel) alarm, louder than a pneumatic riveter four feet away. That’s loud enough to cause pain and permanent hearing loss, according to Galen Carol Audio. Of course, unless you first don hearing protection, Robocopp will hurt and damage your own ears as much as an assailant’s.
Following the 2016 Brazil Olympics potty scandal, swimmer Brian Lochte recouped some of his losses with an endorsement from Robocopp. This set off my own special alarm; another self-defense gadget to explore! Let’s see what the Scam-O-Meter has to say about Robocopp on 9/1/16.
Ridiculous claims: Robocopp itself claims very little. The alarm is up to 130-db depending on the model, and it comes in designer colors. The company offers “campus safety solutions.” They say nothing about the alarm’s ability to deter an assailant or summon help. Testimonials on Robocopp’s site tell of scaring away a dog, a teenager, a guy following a woman, and just feeling reassured to have the alarm at hand. A bit dubious perhaps, but not ridiculous. +1
Post Office box: One out of Robocopp’s three bay-area addresses is a UPS store. The other two look like real places. +1
- 2443 Fillmore St Suite 3804121, San Francisco, CA 94115
- 1610 Harrison St Suite D, Oakland, CA 94612
- 500 Westover Dr Suite 4121, Sanford, NC 27330
- The website advertises “100% money-back guarantee” and “1-year unlimited warranty.” The Terms and Conditions take none of this back.
- “We don’t guarantee the product is suitable for any use; nor that anything we say is true.” Not a desirable clause, but mild compared to real scams. +1
- We’ll use the personal information you give us and that we suck out of your browser to beam ads at you and spam you.
- We’ll share it with other companies that will do the same.
- You can’t opt out, other than in response to an inquiry from us about a specific use of your data. -1
Lying and deception: The deception that’s happening here is subtle and implicit. A customer may suppose that the alarm will be more useful and effective than it really is. Amazon reviewer James Yamanoha cautions,
… While I can imagine that this alarm sound would deter potentially dangerous animals or startle a would-be assailant, once the pin is pulled, the device is very easy to drop or have it knocked out of your hands. For those wishing to gain a more serious and in-depth understanding of violence/crime/criminal/personal-safety/self-defense dynamics, I would highly recommend starting with Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected by Rory Miller.
… It would be wise to also think critically about the potential for using such a device and be realistic about its limitations. No device is a panacea.
It would have been forthright of Robocopp to state these cautions themselves. So I feel I must penalize them somewhat for the omission. 0
Obfuscation: None found. +1
Phony reviews: None found. +1
Crummy product: Apparently not. It won five stars from 72% of 18 reviewers. +1
Overpriced: The 120-db model is $15; the 130-db is $20. Amazon offers them at the same price, along with several competitors that sell for a similar price. +1
Unauthorized charges: I found no complaints of this. +1
Bottom line: +7