Perhaps over-eager drivers will think twice about running red lights when faced with a hulking humanoid robot that can give them a ticket. Two new traffic robots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are doing just that.

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The two enormous solar-powered robots created by engineers from the Kinshasa Higher Institute of Applied Technique were recently placed at a busy intersection in the capital city. While they might look funny, the robots mean business. They direct traffic and they’re equipped with four cameras that record traffic flow and they have a system to send the info to a center where it’s analyzed for violations, CCTV Africa’s Wazir Khamsin reported (video).

“If a driver says that he’s not going to respect the robot because it’s just a machine, the robot is going to take that and there will be a ticket for him,” Isaie Therese, the engineer who invented the robot, told CCTV Africa. The robots are also helping bring in much-needed revenue through tickets. Hat tips to Jalopnik and Vice.

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Even here in Colorado drivers might respond better to a humanoid robots than they do with all the red light cameras. So far in Kinshasa the response has been mixed, according to Khamsin. While motorists seem to respect the robot more than human cops, the bots still have limitations. Unlike humans, they can’t pursue criminals on foot. Yet, anyway.

Photo: One of the traffic robots at the intersection of Boulevard Triomphal and Huileries Avenue in Kinshasa. Credit: CCTV Africa (video).