Robot camel jockeys

New technologies in sports: robot camel jockeys are gaining popularity in Arab countries. Racing on exotic desert animals is very popular in Arab countries and many believe that camel racing is a sport of sheiks. Due to some features of this kind of competition, preference has always been given to short riders with lightweight, and since small children were most suitable for this, the Arab owners of camels used them.

Robot camel jockeys

Arabic racing traditions vs. Human rights

Before the development of robot camel jockeys in 2004, in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Qatar, young children were used as riders, and this was often done in violation of their rights and was associated with high injuries.

It was not uncommon for children to be abducted from their families specifically to participate in camel races, even though it was dangerous even for an adult.

Robot jockey

Under pressure from human rights organizations, the authorities of Qatar and the UAE banned the use of live people as riders during camel races, and robot jockey took their place in the saddle.

Camel racing robot

Camel jockey robots

The history of camel racing robot and robotics technology.  The United Arab Emirates became the first country where it was officially prohibited to allow children under the age of 15 to race. Violation of this ban, announced by the UAE Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, was punishable by a prison term or exclusion from racing  (  camel jockey robots).

Robot camel jockey

The example of the UAE was followed by the Sheikh of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who banned the use of children as jockeys in 2005 and decided that robot camel jockey should participate in races instead of people.

The development of robots in Qatar began in early 2001, and already in 2003, it was possible to create the first successful model. At the end of 2003, the work on the creation of the robot was entrusted to the Swiss company “K-Team”.

Robot jockey camel racing

What problems did the developers of robot camel jockeys face?

The first problem faced by the development team led by Alexander Kolot was that camels were used for human riders, and the first models of robots that did not look like humans frightened camels and confused them. Therefore, we had to change the design of robot jockey camel racing so that their outlines were similar to people.

The new models had mannequin-like “faces”, sunglasses and hats, and even clothes. Among other things, the perfume used by the riders was also used.

Camel racing sport of sheiks

The next problem to be solved was the conditions in which the robots and the computers that controlled them would be used: high temperatures, sand, shaking when driving. Nevertheless, they were solved quite quickly, and already in 2005, the first successful camel races were held in Qatar, in which only robot jockeys participated as riders.

Camel racing

The main disadvantage of the Swiss model was its heavyweight (16-18 kg) and high cost. Eventually they were replaced by other models that were lighter (2-3 kg) and cheaper.

You can tame horses anew at a new level if you add a computer to them. A horse is perfectly oriented in space, whereas a computer requires huge computing resources for this. At the same time, the horse is not able to perform systematic work without human participation ( camel racing ).