Accessibility links

Robot Jockeys in United Arab Emirates

Camel racers in the United Arab Emirates are experimenting with robots now that it is no longer legal to use small boys as jockeys.

The UAE has instituted new regulations as of March 31, which forbid boys younger than 16 years of age or lighter than 45 kilograms from being jockeys.

Human rights groups had called the former practice of using underage jockeys a form of slavery. The groups say boys, some as young as four, were kept in prison-like conditions and underfed to keep their weight down.

A prototype of a new robotic jockey was tested Saturday. The first production robots should be assembled by August, in time for the beginning of the next camel racing season.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.