Robot Camel Jockeys

You might think we’re sinking to lowest-common-denominator, click-bait headlines like the rest of the online press. We’re not. The New York Times Video Notebook series has a story on camel racing that you’ve just got to see in the video after the break.

robotPreviously, the camel races in Abu Dhabi had used small children as jockeys because they’re lightweight. Unfortunately, this lead to illegal trafficking of small children, mostly orphans. That won’t do. So they came up with a technological solution.

Strap a cordless drill with a purpose-built whip in the chuck onto the back of your camel. Add a car-remote keyfob to activate, and a two-way radio so that you can shout encouragement into your animal’s ear at just the right times. Now just chase the racers down the highway in an SUV and it’s like you’re there on the camel’s back!

talkingWe love the little silk suits that the drillbot-jockeys get to wear, but we’re not sure that cordless drills with walkie-talkies and remote controls count as “robots” really, because they don’t do anything autonomous. We think they’re more accurately described as “telepresence agents”.

Thanks [ag4ve] for the tip.


17 thoughts on “Robot Camel Jockeys

  1. Horses also get into a lather during a run. From a quick look at some horse racing images the human jockeys need to be spit-proof too.
    All the mechanical jockeys in this Abu Dhabi video seemed to be the same but I’m sure a more sophisticated telepresence agent would help to get the camel to running faster.

    1. I think of swarms of small, smart Flying suicide bombers equipped with satellite control and command link storming enemy outposts in the Middle East…

      “I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey”

      Sure they made efforts from 2011 to have less (than 20%) extra-judicial civilian casualties, but by the same token if you are male and able to undertake military service (physically mature or 16+) then you are guilty by reason of sex, age and association

      Sorry. That was a bit dark. Your wording just got to me, there, although I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.

      It’s just that suicide bombing and racist war crimes come home quickly when you’ve seen the children still suffering years and thousands of kilometres later…

    1. Not in this case; So far as I know, the child jockeys used previously were, as it mentioned, often trafficked and/or forced to take part, and were quite often killed. I reckon they’re rather glad that their position can be taken over by a cordless drill

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.