DR Congo recruits robots as traffic police

Giant robots installed in capital Kinshasa, which is notorious for its gridlock and corrupt traffic police.

    The Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa is notorious for bad traffic. So police are getting a helping hand to keep the cars moving.

    Two giant traffic robots have appeared in the capital, a city where drivers normally spend hours in traffic and which has become notorious for corrupt traffic police.

    Unlike their human counterparts, the robots, which have built-in cameras to report traffic offences to a central computer, are unable to collect bribes.

    “There are several kinds of traffic lights in the world," said engineer Thérèse Izay, who designed the robots.

    "But I can tell you that the only robot, in human form, in the shape of a policeman who is regulating traffic, is made in Congo," she said.

    Izay, who runs a women's technology cooperative, hopes authorities will pay for the robots to be installed in cities across Africa and beyond, to promote Congo's female engineers and create much-needed jobs.

    So far pedestrians at a busy intersection seemed impressed with a robot, which, with its red lights on its front and back of its chest and green lights on its arms, was rotating to direct traffic.

    “It is better than before. Now you can cross with confidence. The robot is doing its job correctly,” a pedestrian said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    'Just another Indian': Surviving Canada's residential schools

    A survivor of schools that took Indigenous children from their families shares her story of abuse, neglect and healing.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.