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DRC: 3 new robot agents to regulate the traffic

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TO GO WITH STORY BY KATHY KATAYI AND JUNIOR KANNAHThis picture taken on January 22, 2014 shows a traffic robot cop on Triomphal boulevard of Kinshasa at the crossing of Asosa, Huileries and Patrice Lubumba streets. Two human-like robots were recently installed here to help tackle the hectic traffic usually experienced in the area. The prototypes are equipped with four cameras that allow them to record traffic flow, the information is then transmitted to a center where traffic infractions can be analyzed. The team behind the new robots are a group of Congolese engineers based at the Kinshasa Higher Institute of Applied Technique, known by its French acronym, ISTA. AFP PHOTO / JUNIOR D. KANNAH

Tamuke, Mwaluke and Kisanga, there are the names of three new robots intended to regulate road traffic at congested crossroads in the city of Kinshasa.

The Robots were handed over to the authorities of DRC on Tuesday by the Congolese Women’s Technology engineering association.

They are an improved version added to both prototypes already settled in Kinshasa since 2013.

According to the designers, every robot of 250 kg for 2.5 m high equipped with solar panels, cost 27.500 dollars.

How do they work? The robot raises arms as a human traffic agent would do it to block a way and allow cars on the other way pass, with its plastron that change from the green to the red.

« The robot reacts faster to the commands. In brief, electronic components are much more successful than the machines of the first generation« , explained to AFP the engineer, Thérèse Izay, project manager at Women’s Technology.

« We improved our technology. Static lights at the level of thighs in addition to those that are on the thorax, to take over in case of breakdown« , underlined Mrs. Izay.

In aluminum and conceived to resist to the rigors of the equatorial climate, these robots can record traffic violations thanks to security cameras that work even if the robot is not in use.

Pictures are sent in real time to the police that can analyze all the movements in a scope of at least 200 meters.

« This information will allow to chase people who committed breaches on the road« , explained Mrs. Izay.

« Breaches are numerous and often mortal. Since 2007, 9.717 road accidents among which 2.276 mortal cases were registered in Kinshasa« , indicated General Célestin Kanyama, chief of police in the Congolese capital town. « These robots will be an important contribution for the police« , he estimated.

However, the robot « does not replace the policeman who is on the site. It is will chase the unpatriotic that runs the red light nor educate them or sanction them« , warned the governor of Kinshasa, André Kimbuta.

Women’s Technology proposed to the authorities the purchase of 30 similar machines for the big crossroads of the capital. Five machines were already sent to the province of the Katanga (south-east), among which three for the provincial capital, Lubumbashi.



Original text by:Blaise AKAME 

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