Yamaha brings to “life” the first Autonomous Motorcycle Rider, a concept that could put Valentino Rossi at the bottom of the standings.
The car manufacturers are dreaming about their future autonomous vehicles, are testing them intensely, but Yamaha is having a different approach. What if we substitute humans with robots and put them on two wheels? Well, this idea of robots replacing humans is nothings new in the minds of inventors and researchers. In some areas, the robots have already replaced humans. But on two wheels and at a high speed in traffic? It seems like a dangerous idea and a far-fetched one. It’s an idea that could provoke nightmares for Valentino Rossi.
Developed by Yamaha and showed at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Motobot is and “autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot”. “I am Motobot”, the robot said in a video put together by Yamaha. “I was created to surpass you,” it says to Rossi. Yamaha didn’t create a motorcycle that could operate autonomously, but create a robot that would operate a bike just like a human. Motobot has an allure of a human, an aero position and has “arms” and “legs” to operate the controls. But, for now, it cannot go anywhere without help from… humans. It needs human assistant and it can’t ride very fast.
Motobot is helped by a mix of sensors, a GPS system and “software learning skills” and the company expects to be capable of going in a straight line with a maximum speed of 100 km/h by the end of the year, with a predicted top one of 200 km/h. It will also be able to make its own decisions for the best lines on a racetrack. Nevertheless, the main focus of this project is the improving the future safety technologies, by a better understanding of human riders.