Robot jockeys set for camel races

ABU DHABI — In a move that will pave the way for the introduction of robot jockeys in camel races in the UAE, the first practical robot jockey exercise was successfully conducted here yesterday.

By (Wam)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sun 10 Apr 2005, 10:41 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:59 PM

The exercise was conducted on the directives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Their Highnesses Supreme Council Members and Rulers of the Emirates.

The success of the robot jockey exercise will allow the practice to be introduced across the UAE, starting from the next camel-racing season. Yesterday’s exercise was attended by Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Shaikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Guesthouse and Protocol Department, in addition to a number of Shaikhs, Camel Racing Federation members, and camel races fans.

Commenting on the success of the exercise, Shaikh Sultan said: “We are pleased about the success of this exercise, thanks to the great support provided to this project since 2002 by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.”

Shaikh Sultan added that specialised engineers have been working on the project and that the first batch of robot jockeys will be produced in August 2005 and will be able to participate in the next camel racing season.

Citing a recent decision issued by Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, banning jockeys under 16 years of age from competing in camel races held in the country, Shaikh Sultan said: “With the introduction of this law and the production of the first generation of robot jockeys in August this year, the UAE will have adhered to the international regulations governing camel racing while at the same time preserving the traditional character of camel races as a popular local heritage.”

The new law also stipulates that jockeys weight should not be less than 45kg while his age, according to passport, should not be less than 16 years.

He went on to say that the latest innovation will boost the camel racing sport as the robot jockeys would perform superbly in many ways. “Unlike the human jockey, the robot is cheaper to maintain and would not have to undergo the same physical hardship that humans would. Some of the good qualities of the robot are that it is in the shape of a human, lighter, small and could receive orders by remote control from a distance.”

More news from