Robot jockeys could be riding racehorses in the near future, a “report” by bookmaker BetBright has claimed.
The bookmaker commissioned “future gazer” Dr Ian Pearson to look at the role technology could have on racing in the future.
Dr Pearson predicted robot jockeys could have the potential to become a reality by 2025, although H&H would like to know how a robot could be programmed to see a stride or pull up if a horse doesn’t feel right.
BetBright is planning to create a prototype of the world’s first robot jockey, which will be revealed at the Cheltenham Festival (13-17 March).
“While artificial intelligence (AI) has already bested the greatest ‘mind sport’ players in the world, and robots are getting closer and closer to the skills of our best motor racers, the almost visceral connection between the greatest jockeys and their horses is something very different,” said BetBright chairman and racehorse owner Rich Ricci.
“It will be fascinating to watch as AI and robotics evolve to see when, if ever, they will be able to emulate and compete with this unique emotional connection.”
While this proposal must surely be taken with a healthy pinch of salt, AI robots have filtered into other sports.
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The ski robot challenge at the 2018 PyeonChang Winter Olympics saw robots take on a short slalom course.
A robot motorcyclist also reached 124mph on a race track in September 2017, but failed to match the lap time of Valentino Rossi.
“Developments in technology will mean that there will be possibilities for tech to be introduced into sport to help benefit it, much like VAR (video assisted referee),” said Dr Pearson.
“Robots and further advancements are also possible, however, whether it will be adopted by fans up and down the UK is another question.”
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