Scientists have developed a new technology that will help ATMs release caustic chemicals to attack robbers and vandals. Researchers from ETH University, Zurich have developed a way to contain hydrogen peroxide and manganese dioxide divided by thin plastic layers inside the ATM. Once force is applied on the ATM, these plastic layers break and the two chemicals mix which results in the release of oxygen, water vapor and heat, in the shape of foam which can go up to 80 degrees Celsius in temperature. Apart from this, on the application of force on the ATM, the currency notes contained in it are also sprayed with a dye and DNA nanoparticles. The former helps make the currency unusable while the latter helps law enforcement track down the notes.
Wendelin Jan Stark, a professor at ETH University said that the research was inspired by the bombardier beetle, an insect that sprays its attackers with a chemical, created with the help of enzymes in its body, that can kill ants and intimidate frogs. Apart from ATMs, the research can also be used to help protect other valuable objects in places like museums and art galleries.
ATM attacks are quite common in Europe and have been steadily on the rise in India as well. According to security reports, ATM theft resulted in losses of EUR 10 million (Rs. 85 crores approx.) in the first half of 2013 alone. Hopefully, an efficient security system like this will serve as a deterrent to criminals in the future.
Source: ETH Zurich