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Robots Ride Camels in Kuwait

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the camel-jewelry dept.

Robotics 50

naken writes to tell us that Kuwait recently held its first regional camel race using robot jockeys. The change was made after human rights groups got child jockeys banned in Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE."

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That's one small step for man... (1)

BHennessy (639799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648440)

...one giant leap for mankind.

They got it wrong... (5, Funny)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648446)

From the Article:
child jockeys were banned from the lucrative sport following criticism by human rights groups.

Great. If I'm under four and know how to ride a camel better than anyone else, I can't race. My rights have been infringed to protect human rights. Way to go, guys.

Re:They got it wrong... (4, Informative)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648496)

The problem was that many kids were bought from their parents in other countries and brought for the races, maltreated with too little food and so on.. to be as low weight as possible.

That was a horrible practice.

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648518)

Agreed. But for the kids who were genuine, were not kidnapped, etc., and wanted nothing more than be a camel racer when they were older, they are now left up the creek without a paddle.

Perhaps they could have had more stringent entry requirements and proper inspections going on rather than banning the sport entirly.

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648536)

s/entirly/entirely

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648567)

When something is as broken as it was.. going to other things is hard. Also in most of there countries people would then just have ignored the restrictions and bribed/coerced the offcials or just gotten papers stating something.

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

denominateur (194939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649453)

The problem see, is that when you're older (above the age of 6) you will be replaced because you're too heavy! There were hundreds of children injured in camel races and some of the injuries were fatal.

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14650272)

Yes, I'm sure there's lots of three year olds out there weeping because they can no longer be sold into slavery, starved to keep them small and light, and then killed or mutilated for life by being trampled by a camel...

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14651194)

I think the larger problem is that this is a repost.

Re:They got it wrong... (1)

Yst (936212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648920)

Screw the children. Think of the robots! It's one thing to stick one, miniature meatbag on another, bigger meatbag and make him ride around on it. But making a finely tuned robot, a champion among his kind, clatter along on an ugly bag of mostly water merely for our amusement? Disgusting.

obligatory (-1, Redundant)

pvt_medic (715692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648454)

in mother russia... camel rides you

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648871)

in mother russia... and numerous porn sites...

Re:obligatory (0, Troll)

jibjibjib (889679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649315)

I was actually going to say, in soviet russia, robots ride you.
But I thought I would get modded down.
I bet this post gets modded down too.
Go on, mod me down, see if i care. For every troll you kill, {n:n>1} will appear to take its place. You're all crazy anyway. The world is out to get me! also, my tinfoil hat has holes in it too! And the RIAA i--
connection terminated

Re:obligatory (0)

McWilde (643703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649341)

Hmm, the first thing that I thought when I read the headline was "in Korea, only old people ride camels."

Human rights? (1)

Jack Pirate (770758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648456)

Honestly, I'm sure there are a number of human rights violations in the Middle East right now, but was this really one of them? It's a sport like any other. Are children in the US not going to be allowed to ride horses anymore? or play soccer or little league? Somehow I doubt the kids were being tortured, although their parents might have been the soccer-mom equivalents of Kuwait.

Re:Human rights? (2, Informative)

magefile (776388) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648474)

Wrong. These jockeys were slaves; beaten, starved, forced to throw up so they'd lose weight, etc. Horse racing in this case was not a sport for pleasure; it was a business, and the child jockeys were held hostage to the financial gain of their owners.

Re:Human rights? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14649033)

I bet these owners are pissed off about the Danish cartoon of Muhammed.

Re:Human rights? (3, Informative)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648486)

The issue is that human rights groups had found that the vast majority of these kids had been abducted from their families and put into forced slave labour [cameljockeys.org] on these camel farms. So yes, if US soccer teams start abducting kids to play little league, maybe the human rights groups should get involved.

Particularly if they use electric shocks on kids if they don't do their work properly.

Re:Human rights? (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648502)

Well.. mostly they were bought, not stolen from their parents.. but slave labor still... and misstreatlement included lack of food.

Re:Human rights? (3, Informative)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648641)

While the Unicef site does say bought, Asia Child Rights, [hrschool.org] the Bangladesh Human Rights Network [banglarights.net] and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights [antislavery.org] all agree that both happened pretty frequently. In fact, the organization I cited in the gp post got involved because of trying to track an abducted child from Pakistan who ended up in the UAE.

Re:Human rights? (2, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648664)

I'm sorry, maybe I am late to the conversation, but are we arguing about wether it is better to be bought or abuducted into slavery?

Re:Human rights? (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648706)

No, just the fact that in most cases there is no need to abduct... as they could just go buy the kids for $100-$300. Though also abductions happened.

Re:Human rights? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648892)

In the middle east, this is not a recreational activity. It's a business. Children are exploited. They are undernourished and left uneducated.

In the US children ride horses on weekends for fun.

Somehow I doubt the kids were being tortured, although their parents might have been the soccer-mom equivalents of Kuwait.

The severe beatings that some of the children endure certainly do qualify as torture.

I don't know if you're a troll or just ignorant, but these children were being mistreated.

LK

Dog-riding robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648460)

With any luck, we shall soon be on our way to dog-riding robots [cmu.edu] ! (scroll down to the essay)

We just need to miniaturize this, make the robot look like Commander Data wearing a sombrero, and all will be well.

Re:Dog-riding robots (1)

Chris Kamel (813292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649575)

No, we're on our way to robots riding robots. When animal right groups intervene for the camels.

How odd... (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648529)

I could have sworn CNN had a Reuters article on this very same thing over a year ago. Could anyone help prove me with a link?
Maybe I'm just losing it...

...though some would argue I never had it in the first place.

Re:How odd... (4, Informative)

smilingman (942304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648578)

I could have sworn CNN had a Reuters article on this very same thing over a year ago. Could anyone help prove me with a link? Maybe I'm just losing it... ...though some would argue I never had it in the first place.

You probably have seen it before, it's a dupe [slashdot.org] .

Re:How odd... (4, Insightful)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648792)

You probably have seen it before, it's a dupe.

Ladies and gentlemen, uh, we've just gone off topic, but what you've read so far speaks for itself. The innocent discussion has apparently been taken over - 'conquered' if you will - by an inferior race of photographic-memory slashdotters. It's difficult to tell at the moment whether they will troll the entire website or merely flame it.

I am certainly not surprised: the prior article was in April last year; dupes will inevitably be here. And I, for one, will never welcome our photographic-memory overlords. I'd like to remind our editors that as an average slashdotter with common sense, I can be helpful in rounding up other idiots to languish in the off topic viewing range.

Re:How odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648917)

It isn't a dupe. The old story was an article saying that there were plans for robo-jockeys next year (which is now) and this current article is different and tells us that the first actual race has been held.

Re:How odd... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648850)

I could have sworn CNN had a Reuters article on this very same thing over a year ago. Could anyone help prove me with a link? Maybe I'm just losing it...

At least we know CNN has someone reading Technocrat.net [technocrat.net] looking for story ideas.

Yes, but... (1)

Daedalus-Ubergeek (600951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648715)

These camels actually have CO2 emissions and thus are not as good as hydrogen-fueled camels!

Re:Yes, but... (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14655969)

They also produce methane.

Wired News has an article about this... (3, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648772)

See here [wired.com] .

Genderbots? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648776)

"The remote-operated robots are shaped like small boys."

Why? Do they really need that much emulated gender anatomy? Just make them shaped like "small kids".
           

Re:Genderbots? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648834)

Why? Do they really need that much emulated gender anatomy?
The camels would know the difference.

Okay, just kidding.

They're shaped like small 'boys', because camel jockeys have always been boys.

Bonus Fact: The camels wouldn't accept the robotic jockeys until they had been shaped in a vaguely human fashion.

Re:Genderbots? (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648851)

The gender roles in the area are still quite clear.. would not do to have a "girl".

Re:Genderbots? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648899)

Why? Do they really need that much emulated gender anatomy?

Because it's Kuwait you dumb ass. In some parts of the world, gender still plays a big part in what role you fill in society.

LK

Re:Genderbots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648925)

I believe the difference is not adding the jumbly bits, but leaving out the curvy ones.

Re:Genderbots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14649449)

"The remote-operated robots are shaped like small boys."

Why? Do they really need that much emulated gender anatomy?


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  • Two! Yes, that's right, two realistic orifices!*
  • 100% Hypoallergenic "real-feel" silicone compound construction.
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*Vibromatronic pulsematic actuator with user control available for an additional 30 dinars!

Order yours today! You'll be glad you did!

The real reason they're boys... (2, Funny)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14655595)

It was to increase the bidding between the Catholic Church and Michael Jackson.

Re:Genderbots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14656061)

Because their "owners" probably bugger them when they aren't racing.

Better Article on same topic.... (1)

Starker_Kull (896770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648895)

...although it's almost a year old. Nonetheless, it goes into the details a lot more.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/robotics/2005-04 -19-qatar-camalbots_x.htm [usatoday.com]

I remember it because I thought it was so bizzare, and because I had no idea there was a black market in young boys who were good camel jockeys. Weird.

I split (2, Funny)

Kurt Russell (627436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648982)

some acid with my girl in Mexico. A couple of pieces of blotter, I think it had the "freak brothers" on it. We tripped for hours in a little park in Matamoros watching a guy that had 3 monkeys riding dogs. It was fucking great, they were hauling ass screaming and jumping through hoops.

Tiny robots on robot dogs would be cool. Damn, I feel like dropping a tab or two.

No laughing matter (2, Informative)

Godwin O'Hitler (205945) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649226)

I happen to do a lot of translation work for a French agency that raises funds to finance organisations that combat child abuse. They do so by establishing full-blown infrastructures to attack the reasons why kids are vulnerable in the first place, as well as setting up rehabilitation programmes for rescued kids who are traumatised for life.
Their grant applications, notably to the European Union, go into all the sordid details about trafficking in children. In Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, tens of thousands of children every year are abducted into one form of slavery or another. There is a cross border traffic in both directions, with for example lots of Afghan refugee children undergoing similar ignomy. The camel jockeys are a particularly bad example because the kids are deliberately starved.

If Kuwait is going to fall into line that's good news, but it's really only the tip iceberg. For a start it's not the biggest market for these kids - the United Arab Emirates is huge in comparison.
And the traffic in camel jockeys is just a small part of the overall children's rights problem. If I told you about some of the other sordid things that kids have to undergo believe me it would make your skin crawl.

It's absolutley no laughing matter.

I for one welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14649242)

our new camel-riding overl...

THUD!

Flop, bleeeeed.

Draaaaaaaaag.

Dump.

WIRED article (0, Redundant)

everlong (804799) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649327)

A WIRED article [wired.com] gave a 3-page writeup of the Swiss team developing the robots in November.

Great headline (0)

mikeage (119105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14649433)

but what about the other versions,

In Soviet Russia, Camel rides you.

In Korea, only old robots ride camels.

In Planet of the Clams, lobster is slave to clam...

Re:Great headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14650410)

I for one welcome our new camel-riding robot overlords.

I object to this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14650204)

...slavery of machines for camel races. Robot's rights are getting infringed. Boo! I say, boo! Machine rights now! Machine rights now! Machine rights now! Machine rights now! ...so on and so on.

Discuss.
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