Yamaha Designs a Robot That Can Ride Motorcycles

Michele Debczak
Yamaha / Yamaha

We’ve built robots that can swim, cook, and even comfort you on your death bed. Now, Yamaha has unveiled a new robot designed to do what no humanoid robot has done before: cruise on a motorcycle.

Motobot is an autonomous robot built to ride motorcycles similar to how a human rider would, right down to turning the throttle. The initial model that debuted at this week's Tokyo Motor Show still has some catching up to do before it reaches human capabilities, though. For now, it moves along at slow speeds and needs “training wheel” wings to protect it from toppling over. 

Yamaha’s long-term goal is to get Motobot zooming at 120mph on a racetrack, challenging the speeds of experienced human racers. But this robot isn’t built for competing in futuristic racing events. Instead, Motobot is designed as a tool to test safety and support systems for Yamaha’s human riders.

Cool idea, though Yamaha ruins any chance Motobot had at being charming with their promo video. Unsettling quotes include “I was created to surpass you” and “Perhaps if I learn everything about you I will be able to catch up." If Motobot ends up leading the robot uprising, at least he'll do it in style.

[h/t: Engadget]