Yamaha’s Motobot plans to unseat humans on superbikes

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Yamaha wants its motorcycle-riding robot to be faster than humans.

At the Tokyo Motor Show on Wednesday, the company revealed Motobot, its autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot, which can to ride an unmodified motorcycle.The Tokyo Moto Show has just gotten away, and amongst fuel-efficient hybrids and the latest advancements in autonomous vehicles, you’ll find an unorthodox reveal from Yamaha: a robotic biker called the Motobot that can handle some of the fastest motorcycles on earth.

Yamaha wants Motobot to ride faster than 200 km/h (124 mph) on a racetrack, but the company did not disclose the robot’s top speed when announcing its new creation. Or maybe Yamaha is actually developing the future of highway patrol, given the Motobot bears a striking resemblance to last year’s rebooted RoboCop. Mashable has reached out to Yamaha for clarification. “The task of controlling the complex motions of a motorcycle at high speeds requires a variety of control systems that must function with a high degree of accuracy,” Yamaha said in a statement. The humanoid could very well be designed to chase down speeders, or quickly put an end to high-speed pursuits without putting the lives of human law enforcement in danger. Instead, the company’s robotics division hopes to further develop the robot so that it can eventually handle an unmodified motorcycle (no added safety gear) to speeds of more than 120 miles per hour.

As a childhood picture of Rossi comes on screen, the robot, using a digitized boy’s voice, says: “I am improving my skills everyday, but I’m not sure if I can even beat the five-year-old you.” Motobot makes it clear that it’s gaining on Rossi — and the rest of humankind: “I am not human but there has to be something only I am capable of. And while there aren’t a lot of practical applications for a robot that can ride a motorcycle, Yamaha is using it as a test bed for technologies that can be integrated into the bikes themselves, making them easier and safer to ride.

We want to apply the fundamental technology and know-how gained in the process of this challenge to the creation of advanced rider safety and rider-support systems and put them to use in our current businesses, as well as using them to pioneer new lines of business.

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