Discuss as:

Robots replace children as jockeys in Mideast camel racing

Salah Malkawi / Getty Images Contributor

Jordanian Bedouins race camels using robotic jockeys in the desert of Wadi Rum valley, on Nov. 10, 2011 in southeast Jordan.

Salah Malkawi / Getty Images Contributor

Camel racing in Wadi Rum valley is a popular traditional sport, in which both Jordanian and Saudi bedouins compete. Nov. 10, 2011.

Salah Malkawi / Getty Images Contributor

Jordanian Bedouins prepare to race camels using robotic jockeys in the desert of Wadi Rum valley on Nov. 10, 2011.

Salah Malkawi / Getty Images Contributor

Jordanian Bedouins race camels in the desert of Wadi Rum valley, on Nov. 10, 2011 in southeast Jordan.

Salah Malkawi / Getty Images Contributor

Jordanian Bedouins race camels in the desert of Wadi Rum valley, on Nov. 10, 2011 in southeast Jordan.

From Wikipedia:

A robot jockey is commonly used on camels in camel racing as a replacement for human jockeys. Developed since 2004, the robotic jockeys are slowly phasing out the use of human jockeys, which in the case of camel racing in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, often employs small children who reportedly suffer repeated systemic human rights abuses. In response to international condemnation of such abuses, the nations of Qatar and the UAE have banned the use of human jockeys in favor of robots. Continue reading.

A seasonal event in Wadi Rum at the camel race track. Because of laws prohibiting the use of children as camel jockeys, each camel is outfitted with a small remote-controlled whipping machine. The Bedouin owners follow the camel around the track in their pick-up trucks, yelling and using the remote control to encourage their camel to run faster. (Matthewepler / YouTube)