Yamaha’s Motobot, version 2 was unveiled this year at the 45th Annual Tokyo Motor Show. Motobot is an autonomous racing bike conceptualized and made by Yamaha and SRI International. They have been working on this since 2015. They have created a humanoid robot that can autonomously ride a motorcycle around a racetrack.
The earlier version of the Motobot was able to run a top speed of 100 kph and also navigate a slalom course and turn through a corner of the racetrack. In the latest version, the Motobot aspires to run a speed of exceeding 200 kph.
This year they have challenged Valentino Rossi, a seven-time MotoGP champion in a lap around the race track.
Although Valentino Rossi turned out to be the winner defeating the Motobot, the progress and the technological advancement done on the Motobot is tremendous. Valentino Rossi defeated Motobot around the Thunderhill Raceway’s two-mile West course lap time of 85. 740 seconds while the lap time of Motobot was 117.504 seconds.
The incredible factor in this whole scenario is that the bike is unmodified. The robot on the bike is hunched-over form the top. It can automatically sense the environment and can calculate its action on the bike while riding. It can also manage to keep the bike stable, manages the acceleration and the deceleration while taking into account the road conditions, engine banking, and air resistance.
The idea is to incorporate autonomous features into commercial motorcycles to make them easier and safer to ride.
Yamaha’s release says, “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.”
Yamaha is still working on Motobot and who knows, probably next time the Motobot might turn out to be a winner. With an increase in demand for self-driven cars, this concept might also work in the near future where technology rules over everything else.
Article by Sherin.