A giant robot brings traffic order to an African capital.

What’s big, metallic, and changing the way people think about their driving habits? It isn’t just your every day traffic light. In Kinshasa, the capital city of Congo, a new sheriff is in town: a robot that functions like a human traffic cop, creating a surprisingly effective way of doing a traffic cop’s dangerous work in a country that’s strapped for cash. Aside from displaying ‘stop’ and ‘go’ signals, the robot also is equipped with two cameras that can capture traffic violations and efficiently issue tickets, as well as passively monitor traffic flow. “We are a poor country and our government is looking for money. And I will tell you that with the roads the government has built, it needs to recover its money,” said its inventor, a woman named Isaie Therese who works with her team and prototypes the machines by hand out of the Kinshasa Higher Institute of Applied Techniques.

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