I have been blessed with some of the most amazing friends who live in the most interesting places. One such cherished friend sent out her Christmas letter today which included a picture of a local camel race - complete with robot rider.
It seems that in 2005, UNICEF finally succeeded in pressuring the camel racing industry, to stop the practice of buying child jockeys from places like Pakistan for their camel races. The boys weren't fed much to keep their weight down, could be seriously injured or killed in a race, had no education, and basically lost their childhood. Of course, they were the children of the very poor and very poor children often never experience what we would consider to be a normal childhood. But the good folks at UNICEF stopped the practice and then, most importantly, followed up with those boys when they returned home and ensured that they received an education and vocational training.
So now cheap, 10 pound mini-robots ride in their place and are run by remote control. If you've been dreaming of a nice camel race robot for Christmas, take a few minutes to watch this UNICEF video: