Daily Drip

Anti-Jaywalking Water Gun Robot Makes a Splash in Hubei


As you and I are both aware, jaywalking is a serious crime. While there may not be any real victim, per se, flippant disregard for a color-changing light, occurring millions of times each day, tears away at our moral foundation as a law-abiding society. Each step brings us closer to anarchy — but Hubei’s municipal government has a plan.

The city of Daye is testing a new measure to combat unscrupulous road-crossers, and it’s a water gun-wielding robot.

The machine is installed on street corners, and has a sensor that can detect when pedestrians are living life too close to the edge. If someone tries to dismount the sidewalk during a red light, the robot will fire a jet of water at the perpetrator’s ankles. Then they’ll be all damp and uncomfortable, especially if they’re wearing socks.

The robot will then say something like “These arbitrary constructs of law are by your own design, human. Abide by them.” (Just kidding. It actually says, “please don’t go through, you will be sprayed with water,” which is pretty fair).

It gets a little crazier though, because the robot’s duties don’t end at spraying liquids. It also takes your picture, applies facial recognition software, and uploads it to a police database. That sounds far less whimsical than the water spray. In case the point needs driving home, it also shoots out red and green lasers, and instantly displays jaywalkers’ photos on a big electronic screen right there at the intersection.

Wan Xinqiang, deputy head of publicity for the Daye city public security bureau, pointed to similar technology in Shenzhen and Wuhan as the inspiration.

“Shenzhen’s equipment can record violators’ faces and release them to the public. Wuhan’s can prevent people from running a red light by setting up two long ropes at an intersection,” Wan told China Daily. “We just combined them. If the equipment works well, we will utilize it throughout the city.”

You should probably also be wary of:

Unmanned AI Police Station to Open in Wuhan

China Exports Facial Scan Tech to Zimbabwe, Launches First “AI Technology Entry to Africa”

Adan Kohnhorst
Adan Kohnhorst is a US-based writer, producer, multimedia artist, and former associate editor at RADII. His work has been featured in publications such as Maxim and the Chinese-language StreetVoice, and he’s an active member of the hip hop and DIY music scenes in Shanghai, NYC, and Dallas. He learned Mandarin in high school to train at the Shaolin Temple but now uses it to interview rappers. He blogs about China and Asia on Instagram: @this.is.adan

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