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Bahrain’s King Did Not Arrive In Dubai With A Robot Bodyguard, Old Video Shared With Misleading Claims

A social media user claims that Bahrain’s King arrived in Dubai with a robot bodyguard fitted with cameras and in-built pistols. The tweet in context was published on 14 August along with a video that shows a giant robot walking down a pathway behind a man dressed in a blue thobe and keffiyeh. This social media post gained 22.6K likes and 17.5K retweets at the time of writing this fact check. It reads as follows: 

“King of Bahrain arrives in Dubai with his robot bodyguard fitted 360 with cameras and in built pistols. Technology moving very fast than ever in history. Now politicians might order this too” 

The claim has since gone viral on Twitter. You can see an example of this below. 

We received this video on our Whatsapp verification number as well asking us to fact check the claim.

Screenshot of the robot's claim we received on our Whatsapp verification number for a fact check.
Screenshot of the robot’s claim we received on our Whatsapp verification number for a fact check.

Fact Check/ Verification 

A relevant keyword search on Youtube led us to a seven-minute video published in October, 2017 with the title, “TITAN, THE FREAKING ROBOT.” With over 4.7 million views as of 17 August, its description said that a real robot was at the Dubai International Exhibition & Convention Center. 

Another video titled, “Real Robot in Dubai – Titan Robot” which was published in February, 2019 includes the video clip from the claim. 

Taking cue from this video, we did a Google search with keywords, “Etimad Titan robot Dubai.” This led us to an article published by Gulf News in February, 2019.  According to the article, Titan, the 8 feet, 60kg robot greeter at Abu Dhabi’s International Defence Exhibition was a huge success on UAE’s social media. “In a video shared by scores of residents, viewers can see the robot Titan introduce himself in both Arabic and English,” the article states. 

Gulf News 2019 report on Titan, the robot greeter in Abu Dhabi's IDEX
Gulf News 2019 report on Titan, the robot greeter in Abu Dhabi’s IDEX

The above article also states that this is the world’s first commercial entertainment robot artist developed by Cyberstein. Cyberstein Robots is a British company that specialises in robotic entertainment. Their most successful product, Titan The Robot, is a partially mechanised robot costume. 

Here is a three-minute+ long Youtube video which includes the clip of Titan the robot from the claim. Both videos show the robot wearing a vest and walking behind a man dressed in a blue thobe and keffiyeh. 

Left: Screenshot of Titan, the robot from the claim's video.  Right: Screenshot of Titan from Abu Dhabi's 2019 IDEX Youtube video.
Left: Screenshot of Titan, the robot from the claim’s video. Right: Screenshot of Titan from Abu Dhabi’s 2019 IDEX Youtube video.

You can also read Khaleej Times report on Titan’s visit to IDEX 2019 event here

Conclusion 

The claim that Bahrain’s King arrived in Dubai with a robot bodyguard fitted with cameras and in-built pistols is misleading. The video in the claim is from Abu Dhabi’s International Defence Exhibition 2019 where Titan, the robot developed by Cyberstein made an appearance. 

Result: Misleading 

Our Sources

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fD-wJG5RUrw&feature=youtu.be

Gulf News: https://gulfnews.com/uae/video-meet-titan-the-robot-greeter-in-abu-dhabi-1.1550468919750

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2bzTxny0XM

Khaleej Times: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/nation/abu-dhabi/video-8-ft-titan-robot-greets-visitors-at-uae-defence-show-idex-


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Nikita Vashisth
Nikita is a writer and editor for English fact-checking. She also leads projects to understand the misinformation and fake-news ecosystem—with an emphasis on data and psychology. Previously, she has worked with IndiaSpend, CNN-News18 and written for Citizen Matters and Mongabay-India on the environment, health, and politics. She’s a postgraduate of the Computational Journalism program at Cardiff University, Wales.

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