Monday, October 26, 2009

Robot races

The front page of The Times of Oman always has an article saying that greetings from Sultan Qaboos have been sent to various rulers of other countries. It very often announces new legislation as well. I was amused when I was there to read that the Sultan had authorised racing camels to be ridden by robots. Camel racing is big business in the desert. Woe to the driver who accidentally hits a camel: he may be billed for hundreds of thousands of dollars if he's disabled a prize racing camel! In the past, young Bedouin boys used to race the camels but in recent years this has caused an outcry from Arab child protection agencies and so robotic riders are on the up. They are controlled by computer from the sidelines. I'm not sure if boys race robots or if each race has to be completely robotic or completely manned.


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