King of Bahrain does not have a robot bodyguard

22 February 2023
What was claimed

The King of Bahrain has a heavily-armed robot as a bodyguard.

Our verdict

False. The footage shows an entertainment robot hired to amuse the crowds at a corporate event.

Viral videos on Twitter claim to show a heavily-armed robotic bodyguard protecting the King of Bahrain. The video has also been shared on Facebook

The footage shows a man in a traditional Arabic thobe (a long robe) and keffiyeh (head scarf) walking through an exhibition centre, closely followed by a large robot wearing a military camouflage vest. 

A caption on the post says “King of Bahrain arrives in Dubai with his Robot bodyguard” and adds that the robot can speak six languages and is armed with a Taser, laser-guided guns and enough ammunition to fight 1050 enemies. It also claims the unit is said to have cost US $7.4 million.

These claims are false. The video does not show the King of Bahrain and the robot is not a bodyguard but rather one of a number of models produced by an entertainment company which can be hired out for events. 

Using a reverse image search of key frames, we traced the video back to the International Defence Exhibition which took place in Abu Dhabi, not Dubai, in February 2019. 

The man walking in front of the robot does not resemble the King of Bahrain, who sports only a moustache rather than a full beard.

The robot itself was created by the British company Cyberstein Robots which produces a range of “interactive live entertainment robots” which are “exquisitely designed, hilariously funny and uniquely adaptable for every conceivable event.”

The model seen in the video is known as Titan and, according to local media reports from the time of the exhibition, was hired to greet and entertain attendees. Footage uploaded to Instagram also shows the same robot performing in front of a crowd outside the exhibition, speaking in both Arabic and English. 

In a 2017 interview,  Cyberstein CEO and Titan creator Nik Fielding said the first version of the robot made its debut public appearance at the Glastonbury music festival in 2004 and several upgraded versions have been produced since then. 

Last year Titan made an appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, performing a comedy routine, and it has previously appeared on Big Brother

Miscaptioned videos and images are a common form of misinformation online. It’s always a good idea to check the validity of pictures and images before deciding whether to repost them. You can read more about how to tell whether a video is reliable in our guide

Image courtesy of Cyberstein Robots/YouTube

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.