India has one of the largest road networks in the world, spanning over a total of 5.5 million kilometers. According to a 2019 study, 90 percent of India’s total passenger traffic uses road network to commute. Majority of Indian daily commute is by the road. More people in the country today have their own vehicles than about ten years ago, and the public transport is becoming worse each day. The Indian roads carry almost 90 percent of the country’s passenger traffic. The traffic police, as a result, get enormous pressure in their daily lives.
As an effort to solve this problem of traffic on Indian roads, a Chennai-based Robotics startup called SP Robotics Maker Lab built a traffic robot called Roadeo. It is now the country’s first robot to be deployed to the road safety.
Roadeo is India’s First Traffic Robot
The main purpose of the traffic robot Roadeo is to help and ease the burden of the traffic police on Indian roads. It has two hands with which which it interacts with which it interacts with people and. The purpose is also to help pedestrians, and especially children to cross the roads safely. The system can also be integrated with traffic signals to show on the road, and also has an option of operating manually or automatically, through wifi. The children were involved in preparing the road-safety awareness messages to be fed to the robot. They were also a part of the programming and designing work of the traffic robot.
The purpose is also to create awareness regarding traffic among the masses. “This is a token of appreciation to traffic police, who are struggling to manage the chaotic city traffic. This can be placed in front of the zebra crossing at various junctions hen the traffic signal turns red and ensures a safe passage for pedestrians. It can also register cases of motorists, violating traffic rules”, one of the team members involved in the making of Roadeo said.
People on Indian roads drive recklessly all the time. According to a survey, 56 percent of the road accidents were caused due to rash driving, which is more than half of the total number of accidents. The same survey said that 1.5 lakh Indians, not following traffic rules had died that year. This traffic robot has a camera that detects violation of the traffic rules. It will also help keep a track on the people breaking road rules and help in taking action against them.
The Team Behind Roadeo
The robot, inaugurated during the 30th National Road Safety week, is built by students between the age of 9 and 14. Eight students hail from Bangalore and the rest are from Chennai and Hyderabad. These students are from SP Robotics Lab, headed by a couple, Sandeep and Omana Nair. It took two weeks for the team to make the robot. SP Robotics had previously deployed a similar robot in Chennai as well.
The team at SP Robotics Maker Lab has plans to include this traffic robot Roadeo in the city soon. They have had talks with the city traffic police to deploy Roadeo on the roads. Dubai was the country to have the world’s first Robocop in the year 2017, designed in assistance with IBM Watson and and Google, by Dubai police. Dubai also aims to make 25 percent of their total police force to be taken by Robots by the year 2030. In 2017, Indore, the commercial capital of MP, had its first traffic police robot.
Not many countries in the world are familiar with the experience of a robocop controlling traffic, and these bunch of enthusiastic school kids managed to make one. Getting school students into awareness programmes like these are signs that the country is taking steps to show itself as the tech superpower in the world. At school level students should be involved into practical application projects.