Report: Congo using robocops to ease traffic congestion [w/video]


Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo has two robocops on patrol. Well, they are technically stationary, but they’re still keeping pedestrians in the country’s capital safer. The city of about 10 million people suffers from choking traffic, and the eight-foot-tall, aluminum and steel robots are installed at two, high-traffic intersections to regulate traffic flow.

The US$15,000, solar-powered bots were installed in June 2013 and were engineered by a team of local engineers to withstand the country’s sweltering heat. So far they have been deemed a complete success. Their arms act as traffic signals, while their chests display whether it is safe for walkers to cross the street. A speaker also says whether it is safe to cross. Surveillance cameras are also mounted in the shoulders in case anyone attempts to disobey the traffic automaton’s will. “With the robots’ policemen intelligence, the road safety in Kinshasa becomes very easy,” said Vale Manga Wilma, president of the DRC’s National Commission for Road Safety to CNN.

While giant, humanoid traffic signal robots sound like something more likely to come out of Japan than the Democratic Republic of Congo, they merge the functions of human traffic officers and signal lights which means more cops patrolling the streets. Scroll down to watch a video of the robots in action and see the public’s reaction to the new additions to the police force.

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Written by Lewis Shaw

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