Kinshasa Turns To Robocop To Control Traffic
Kinshasa is the Capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, located on the southern banks of the Congo River. It has a residence of more than 10 million people, and being the metropolitan city that it is, you are bound to find many vehicles both private and public in the thousands. Like any other big city in the world, Kinshasa is choking under heavy road traffic. The DRC’s National Commission for Road Safety (Commission Nationale de Prevention Routiere) turned to a local startup tech-company known as WITECH ONG to come up with an innovative way to ease traffic.
WITECH ONG built two humanoid robots and installed them in Kinshasa’s roads with the highest traffic to automatically regulate the movement of vehicles and thus help drivers and pedestrians to use the road safely, faster and efficiently. The goal of this innovative traffic project is to ease Kinshasa’s nightmare traffic situation and reduce the frequency of road accidents. President of the DRC’s National Commission for Road Safety stated, “It is an innovation about road safety… The traffic is a big problem in the rush hours. With the robots’ policemen intelligence, the road safety in Kinshasa becomes very easy”.
The two humanoid robots are about 8 feet tall, and are on duty around the clock every day. They tower so high that they can be seen from a far, some say they look like scarecrow. These two robots have solar panels installed on them, which serves as their main source of power, have a rotating chest, are fitted with surveillance cameras and have a stainless steel body that enable them withstand the ever hot DRC’s climate.
These humanoid robots emulate some of the functions a human cop and traffic lights do. They are fitted with green and red lights to indicate stop and go, they can also raise or bend their anthropomorphic robotic arms to usher “Stop” to passing cars and usher “Go” to other cars in a different lane. They can also speak and indicate to pedestrian when to or not to cross the road. The best thing about these two humanoid robots is that they are designed and made in the DRC, showing another remarkable innovation from Africa.