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Robotics News

Camel-Riding Robots 217

misterpies writes "Of the many jobs robots could be put to use, here's one I'll bet not many slashdotters have considered - camel jockeys. According to the BBC, from next year racing camels in the United Arab Emirates will be ridden by robots. And for once, the folks put out of work won't be complaining - mostly children (some as young as four) who are reportedly abducted or sold by their families to unscrupulous racing-camel owners. How long until we see robots take over from humans in other sports?"
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Camel-Riding Robots

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  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @08:52AM (#12199508) Homepage Journal
    the kids are not used because of low wages.

    they're used because of low weight(underfed too.. to remain low weight).

  • Re:Crossover (Score:4, Informative)

    by kiatoa ( 66945 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @09:06AM (#12199582) Homepage
    Looks just about as silly too. Rendered pic of camel jocky []
  • And possibly, or more likely, probably this indicates that you don't know what is complex for a robot and how much it costs to buy and maintain one.

    Even in the States, its far cheaper to hire someone to pick strawberries, sweep walkways, mow lawns, weed gardens, clean toilets, and a number of other similar mundane tasks than it is to get robots to do it. In addition, with the exception of sweeping and mowing, those tasks are all complicated for a robot (and even in the case of sweeping and mowing, a robot usually doesn't do a very good job).

    It is highly unlikely that this is a suitable task for a robot. It is a task that will likely require more maintenance (on-site robot repair team vs monthly doctor visits), human labor (robot repair team, and robot teleoperator vs small human), and cost (cost of robot, cost of paying team vs cost of labor for a small human) than the previous way.
  • Already happened (Score:1, Informative)

    by GarbanzoBean ( 695162 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @09:19AM (#12199672)
    How long until we see robots take over from humans in other sports?"

    Chess, eight years ago.

  • Hardly new (Score:3, Informative)

    by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @09:35AM (#12199782) Journal
    I was hoping to see autonomous robots ride these camels. However:
    "The mechanical jockey is light in weight and receives orders from the instructor via a remote control system fixed on the back of the camel," the daily Gulf News said, quoting an official statement.
    I remember reading about something similar yeeaaars ago; the Japanese developed a remotely controlled robot that was light enough to ride a pony, allowing them to hold indoor pony races.
  • by blueZ3 ( 744446 ) on Monday April 11, 2005 @10:34AM (#12200250) Homepage
    From Wikipedia:

    The sport has its origins in an exercise for Norwegian soldiers. The first known competition took place in 1767 when border patrol companies competed against each other. Gradually the sport became more common throughout Scandinavia as an alternative training for the military. Called military patrol, the combination of skiing and shooting was demonstrated at the Olympic Winter Games in 1924, 1928, 1936 and 1948, but did not gain Olympic recognition then, as the small number of competing countries disagreed on the rules (see also Governing body, below).

    The first World Championship in the sport was held in 1958 in Austria, and in 1960 the sport was finally included in the Olympic Games.

  • by bhiestand ( 157373 ) on Wednesday April 13, 2005 @01:00PM (#12224540) Journal
    I think you should know that while that MAY be the case in India, it is certainly quite different in Thailand. Daughters sold into prostitution are shunned and outcast by the family for it. If they ever safely return to their family, despite sending money home for years on end and being forced into the trade to begin with, they are basically a lower class of society and within the family. They're looked down on, called dirty whores, and blamed for everything they did during that period of time. This isn't uncommon throughout southeast asia.

    Parents will quite often pick a kid before birth. They will decide on one, and treat it more like a dog than their child. They'll try not to grow attached to it, because they know its fate. It will have older, crummier clothes, and be treated like crap until it is old enough to be sold into sex slavery. At that point in time it'll have to send home all the money it earns, and if it ever survives without any fatal diseases or anything else, and gets a chance to return home, it will already have shamed the family and itself with its deeds.

    I have to agree with you, these parents _really_ love their kids in ways westerners will never understand.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban