IS it a new high-tech garda weapon in the fight against speeding and drink driving? Is it a powerpoint for electric cars?
The appearance of several strange contraptions around the county in the last week - including Castleisland and on the Tarbert Road beyond Listowel - have been causing consternation among motorists.
The Kerryman can reveal, however, they have not been put in place to nab careless motorists. These are the latest gadgetry to be deployed by Kerry County Council ahead of the winter so it can read road and air temperatures at the touch of a button.
"I've had so many people asking about it, whay they are," Listowel town councillor Maria Gorman said. "They're wondering if it's a type of garda weighbridge or a powerpoint for electric cars, everything and anything!"
Cllr Gorman embarked on a little detective work, contacting the county council straightaway.
The machines are embedded in concrete and have a wind turbine and solar panels attached.
"They measure the temperature of the roadway and of the air, and engineers in the council can download the information straight away," revealed Cllr Gorman.
"They went in in response to the recent severe winters when so much salt had to be put out and they will tell engineers exactly when salt is needed and even how much!"