PHOTOS: giant robot ‘dogs’ thrill crowds on streets of Nantes

French troupe Royal De Luxe set out on a three-day parade with a new version of its hallmark giant puppets

El Xoco is a breed of hairless Mexican dog that is believed to guide souls to the afterlife
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Two giant robot dogs paraded through the streets of Nantes recently, enacting the story of a race between an English bulldog, called Bull Machin, and El Xolo, a Mexican hairless dog.

The robot-puppets, made by the French troupe Royal De Luxe, wandered through the city, sniffing around, eating, drinking - and even smoking.

On Sunday, they set off on a wild race in Nantes’ downtown neighbourhood, complete with pit stops, drug tests and some cheating. They ended up crossing the finish line at the same time and shared a giant dinosaur bone as a prize.

Royal De Luxe is a French street artist troupe founded in Aix-en-Provence in 1979 and is based in Nantes.

It is known for its giant animatronics, which have performed across the world, including at the Channel tunnel opening in Calais in 1994 and for the centennial of the Titanic in Liverpool in 2012.