Without doubt the “Best in Show” concept at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show taking place this week is Yamaha’s motorcycle riding robot. Called MotoBot, the robot is shown in an impressive video cruising around an old, abandoned airfield, taking turns, twisting the throttle and tapping the clutch, all while remaining upright, Yamaha says its end goal is to have the robot ride an un-modified motorcycle on a track at more than 124 mph. And not just any motorcycle: a big, powerful one, Yamaha’s 1000cc R1M.
According to Yamaha it wants to use MotoBot to develop rider-support systems similar to those being developed in automobiles to make driving safer. In a brief statement the company said : "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,"
The task of controlling the complex motions of a motorcycle at high speed requires a variety of systems that must function together accurately. And although the “voice” of Motobot in Yamaha’s concept video declares “I am not human. I am Motobot. I was created to surpass you,” Motobot still requires some development work, as is evidenced by the training wheels present on the bike In the video (see photo below).