Yamaha Motobot is a recently invented humanoid robot that rides motorcycles better than most people, it has been reported.
The innovative creation was unveiled by the renowned Japanese manufacturer of off-road motorcycles during the 44th edition of the Tokyo Motor Show, which began today and will continue until November 8.
Experts from Yamaha Motor Venues & Laboratory in Silicon Valley masterminded this robo-biker, by combining the company’s experience as a motorcycle maker with its remarkable skill in robotics.
Yamaha has been building assembly robots for the industrial marketplace ever since 1976, but the research division which created Motobot was actually established this year, in August.
In a video presentation showing the incredible Yamaha robot riding a 1000cc R1M motorcycle, the autonomous android declares that it was “created to surpass” humans.
It even launches a challenge to Valentino “The Doctor” Rossi, one of the most successful motorcycle racers of all time, and winner of 9 Grand Prix World Championships, claiming it will one day prove its superiority.
“I am not human, but there has to be something only I am capable of”, say Motobot in its promotional video.
The footage reveals the android robot as it performs complicated maneuvers like a professional motorcycle rider, and smoothly moves across an airfield in San Francisco.
However, according to its manufacturers, Motobot still requires further improvements and testing in order to reach that level of precision and skill, and for now can only drive at a safer velocity.
Still, it is remarkable that it was programmed to steer bikes just like its human counterparts, by pulling in the clutch lever and twisting the throttle.
Also, it can progressively hone its expertise, thanks to its machine learning software, and it doesn’t require a specially designed motorbike, to fit its unusual characteristics.
This year’s aim is for Motobot to successfully run slalom courses, enhance cornering skills, and ride in a straight line, at speeds of up to 62 mph (100 kmph).
Yamaha’s plan by 2017 is to discover how to turn its creation into a motorcycle racer capable of defeating any ordinary rider, in any kind of competition.
Improving machine learning and incorporating machine position recognition, such as sensors and GPS, would allow the company to stand by its development goal, which proclaims achieving “beyond human capabilities”.
Also, it is hoped that in the next two years the robot will be able to drive at speeds of up to 124 mph (200 kmph) on a regular, completely unmodified motorcycle, while zipping across a race track.
The iconic bike maker is actually developing this invention with a higher purpose in mind. Its plan is to introduce advanced safety technology for its motorcycles by 2020, similar to the driver support systems which are currently being designed by car manufacturers.
Another objective is to to launch a series of other autonomous robots in the following years, capable of controlling snowmobiles or water-borne vehicles, in order to “pioneer new lines of business”.
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