Street Light Robots of Kinshasa

in robotics on (#3GP)
story imageWe're not used to thinking of Africa as a hotbed of technological innovation, but times change and Africans need to find solutions to problems too. But Kinshasa's streetlight street light robots show the mirth the Congolese are able to apply to technical challenges.

Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo , has legendarily bad traffic problems. But the government has installed at one particularly bad intersection, two humanoid street light figures. They stand 8 foot tall, made of stainless steel and aluminium, and powered by solar panel. Featuring green and red lights, Kinshasa's robot cops are designed to merge some of the functions of human officers and traffic lights. The anthropomorphic robots can raise or bend their arms to stop passing vehicles or let others pass, and are also programmed to speak, indicating to pedestrians when they can cross the road. The street light robots are equipped with rotating chests and surveillance cameras that record the flow of vehicles.

Locally designed and built, these two robots are just the beginning: more are planned.
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