The Tokyo Motor Show this year has seen green autonomous cars steal the show with Mercedez, Nissan and Toyota all bringing a variety of crazy ideas to the table. Just like any other auto show, most of these flashy cars had nothing to give in actual performance and they were just a concept. However, motorcycle giant Yamaha came up with something different that was entirely practical; an autonomous humanoid robot that could drive a sports bike very well. They have named it the Motobot.
There is little detail available to us at the moment about the robot and the motorcycle being used, but its video sure tells us a lot about the capabilities of the whole thing. Despite using support wheels around it like children’s bicycles, the robot is fairly advanced considering it can steer and control speed intelligently entirely on its own. Yamaha has also played it smartly by giving the already cool robot a childish hypnotic voice to cater for the latest surge in automatonphobia. The Motobot is a smug kid that considers himself superior in intelligence and motorbike navigational capabilities. Well, we have to give him that because none of us can actually challenge a World Champion which it has done!
Even though its decision-making skills are good enough to make him challenge the human champion, the humanoid robot needs a lot of work. We already need a pair of balancing wheels to make it steady and since we have them, the robot cannot execute sharp turns with ease, since it can’t lean on one side too much. The Yamaha team is steadily making it better and aims to upgrade it to ride an unmodified bike capable of traveling 200 kilometers per hour. The main purpose for the company itself is to take ideas from the development of this project and apply them to the new range of bikes from the Japanese motorcycle giant. But I guess it can be great for having autonomous bike drivers as well that can take us anywhere on their own thus eliminating the need for drivers.