Motorcycle-riding robot may take on world champion racer

Yamaha building autonomous robot that it expects to race at 124 mph

Yamaha is working on a humanoid, motorcycle-riding robot that engineers say will use machine learning to one day ride better than a world champion human racer.

Dubbed Motobot, the autonomous robot is capable of steering and balancing a racing motorcycle. Riding an unmodified bike, the robot – and its creators -- are being challenged to outrace Italian professional motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi, one of the most successful motorcycle racers in the world and the winner of nine Grand Prix World Championships.

For this year, Yamaha has set a goal of getting the Motobot to corner the bike, run a slalom course and reach speeds of 101 kilometres per hour (kmh).

According to the company, engineers expect that by 2017, they'll figure out what they need to do to make the robot a better racer than any human. They also hope Motobot will be riding at a top speed of 202kmh by then.

Ultimately, Yamaha hopes to use the technology behind the motorcycle-riding robot to advance its other robotics projects and to develop new products.

"Unlike the current methods used for automobile self-driving systems, which have progressed in recent years, the aim is for a humanoid robot to operate a vehicle unmodified for autonomous use," the company said on its website. "Based on data for vehicle speed, engine rpm, machine attitude, etc., Motobot will control its six actuators to autonomously operate the vehicle."

Motobot is designed to be able to autonomously control the bike's steering, throttle, front brake, rear brake, clutch and gearshift pedal. The robot will use machine learning, a GPS system and sensors to enable it to decide which are the best paths to take around the racetrack and the bike's limits so it can improve on its race times and efficiency.

Yamaha said the Motobot can be adapted to operate watercraft and snowmobiles.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags robottech hiveMotobotyamahaValentino Rossi

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?