Tokyo Motor Show 2015: Yamaha has been showing off a motorcycle-riding robot that wants to take on one of the very best superbike riders in the world.
The aim of Yamaha’s MotoBot project is to create a robot capable of beating six-time MotoGP winner and all-round superbike legend Valentino Rossi at his own game, while showcasing the manufacturer’s motorcycle and robotics technology.
The self-riding MotoBot robot will undertake a number of smaller challenges in its quest to beat Rossi, the first of which involves going around a racetrack at 200km/h (124mph).
Currently MotoBot needs stabilisers in case it falls over, but the video shows MotoBot is capable of cruising along at moderate speeds without any problems, which is no easy feat given the balance and sheer number of variables it has to deal with.
Not only does MotoBot look like a human rider, it actually has to twist the throttle like one, too. It also wears a helmet, even though its brain is less likely to turn to mush in the event of a serious accident, and pilots a Yamaha R1M sport bike.
Now it may seem strange for Yamaha to replace a human rider with a glorified toaster, but it hopes the project will lead to ‘the creation of advanced rider safety and rider-support systems’ for motorbikes ridden by infallible humans.
Try to ignore the cheesy robot voice and the video proves interesting, although Motobot’s opening comment ─ “I was created to surpass you” ─ is utterly terrifying for anyone who has seen Terminator or iRobot.
Rossi has been the centre of media attention since he reportedly kicked Marc Marquez during the Malysian Grand Prix, which lead to Marquez falling off. Rossi claims Marquez’s handlebar touched his leg.