Robot camel-jockeys take to the track :: New Scientist
An unnamed Swiss company has reportedly been paid $1.3m to develop the robotic jockeys, which are sold for around $5500 each. The first trials involving the riders took place in April 2005.More, from a New Scientist article of 11 April 05:
The remote-controlled riders have mechanical legs for balancing or leaning and mechanical arms for pulling on their camel's reins.
Robert Richardson, a robotics expert at the University of Manchester, UK, says the design may be simple, but it could still have problems. "When you're connecting a robotic system to an animal, or a human, you have to be careful," he told New Scientist. He adds that a completely autonomous design could be even more hazardous.
Karl Iagnemma, a robotics expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US, says that, although unusual, the idea is certainly feasible. "It just depends on the nuances of camel control," he told New Scientist. "And the level of autonomy you want."
Illustrations previously released show a system capable of leaning from side to side and pulling on the reins. Another sketch reveals a small system for remotely controlling the jockeys. An unnamed Swiss company was reportedly paid $1.3m to develop the robotic jockeys, which will be sold for around $5500 each.
Iagnemma says making a robotic jockey that could automatically control a camel during a race would be an even more interesting problem. "The logical extension is to develop an autonomous jockey," he says. "And then, I guess, a robot camel."
Labels: camel jockeys