Pune to soon be first city in country to see a traffic robot on its roads
With a harsher spotlight being shone on traffic violations across the city these days, an automatic rise in consciousness about complying with traffic rules has also been a natural by-product. Amidst this increased attention of the traffic police towards enforcing norms on city roads — especially their recently launched mandatory helmet drive — the same department is now also taking to a rather futuristic method to maintain traffic flow and spread awareness about the task at hand.
Now, the authorities will soon be introducing a robot named ‘Roadeo’ to trundle around city roads, functioning as a quasi-traffic policeman and cautioning commuters about traffic rules and offences.
Interestingly, Roadeo will be the first robot to be used by any traffic department across the entire country. And, if this pilot project turns out to be successful, there will be many more such prototypes that are likely to take to the streets in a similar fashion, somewhat reducing the burden on beleaguered traffic cops
The concept is the brainchild of developers from SP Robotics Maker Lab, a city-based laboratory that trains people to learn about robotics and build tech themselves. Roadeo, in particular, has been made by six children from the city — namely, Aadi Kanchankar, Parth Kulkarni, Rachit Jain, Shourya Singh, Shruten Pande and Vinayak Krishna — who will share details of their experience at the public launch of this first robot this week. Their concept was propelled by the aim of helping out the traffic department and working out a way to reduce pressure on traffic police, who are already facing a staff shortage.
The robot consists of 16-inch LED display, which will show a ticker of traffic rules and other important messages — such as ‘Wear a helmet’, ‘Do not jump the signal’ and other rules. Roadeo’s hands have been engineered to move and show stop signs to vehicles. Besides this, the robot is equipped with a siren, skid-steering wheels and obstacle-detection sensors.
Sandeep Gautam, head at SP Robotics Maker Lab, told “The robot was built over a couple of months last year by the children, who are from Classes VII and VIII. They worked well with a team in Chennai. Roadeo is a multi-functional robot that has been gifted by our team to the traffic department. We will make more of these if the pilot project works well and there is a demand witnessed.”
Commenting on this development, deputy commissioner of police (DCPtraffic) Tejaswi Satpute only informed, “The robot will be functional on January 15 and seen around main chowks of the city.”