Students at Scotland’s Rural College have been using Scotland’s first robot horse, named RoboCob. The Equestrian Eventing Simulator cost £100k and is a state-of-the-art machine that allows riders to experience real-life situations. The robot horse can mimic Grand Prix dressage movements, jumping grid work, and navigate technical combinations on a cross-country course. It also has motion control technology that replicates jumps of up to 1.20m high and provides real-time and printable feedback on three screens. The students have found the simulator to be realistic and beneficial for improving their riding accuracy.
According to Mary Thomson, Vice Principal of Skills and Lifelong Learning at SRUC, the introduction of the robot horse is part of the college’s innovative approach to teaching and learning. Louise Bulmer, Programme Leader, added that the simulator is a valuable learning resource for the students and a great addition to the college’s equestrian facilities. Additionally, the simulator is expected to improve rider performance and safety, as well as contribute to horse welfare. The college also hopes that the simulator will be used by equine industry groups and increase access to the equestrian industry.