There’s a giant robot directing traffic in Congo


(Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images )

While red light and speed cameras are increasingly common in the United States, we’ve yet to see machines enlisted that look like actual robots. In Kinshasa, the capital city of Congo, two large robots are being used in place of police officers to direct traffic and pedestrians.


The robot is in action on Triomphal Boulevard in Kinshasa, at the intersection of Asosa, Huileries and Patrice Lumumba streets. (Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

While a traditional traffic light could serve the same purpose, the hulking robot may benefit from an intimidation factor. So how has it been received? Commuter Demouto Mutombo told CCTV Africa through an intrepreter: “As a motorcyclist I’m very happy with the robot’s work. Because when the traffic police control the cars here there’s still a lot of traffic. But since the robot arrived, we see truly that the commuters are respectful.”


Pedestrians cross under the robot’s watchful eye. (Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

The solar-powered robot is equipped with multiple cameras, opening the potential for monitoring traffic and issuing tickets. “If a driver says that it is not going to respect the robot because it’s just a machine the robot is going to take that and there will be a ticket for him,” said Isaie Therese, the engineer behind the project said in an interview with CCTV Africa. “We are a poor country and our government is looking for money. And I will tell you that with the roads the government has built, it needs to recover its money.”


Engineer Isaie Therese is shown with the robot she developed. (Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Watch the robot in motion below:


The traffic-directing robot is huge, reportedly over eight feet. (Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

(Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)

The robot in action at night.(Junior D. Kannah/AFP/Getty Images)
Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
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