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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Robot Ethics in Camel Racing

Credit: RAQBI Center Qatar
Robot jockeys have been used in camel racing in the Middle East for several years following international condemnation of the use of children as jockeys, often as young as four. Qatar and the UAE have banned the use of human jockeys in favor of robot jockeys, since 2004.
Camel robot jockeys are manufactured by RAQBI Center Qatar, located at Al Shahaniya, 30 Kms from Doha city. The different models allow camel  owners to remotely whip and steer the camels from the sidelines and can also be equipped with GPS and a heart-rate monitor to assess performance. However, using electric shocks on a camel is not permitted during races and anyone caught doing so can face up to three months in prison.
Shock Jockeys
According to press reports the Dubai Police had recently arrested three men for allegedly selling robotic camel jockeys with an illegal electric shock feature. The suspects were reportedly selling their "shock jockeys" for up to $ 8000. The cost of an ordinary robotic camel jockey is between $ 220-320.

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