Meet Motobot – Created to surpass you
I was created to surpass you
Hardly the most comforting words to hear from a robot.
But it was with this eerie prediction that Motobot, the latest creation from the Yamaha test track, was recently revealed to the world.
We’ve talked a lot in the past about the future of driverless cars, but Motobot represents possibly the first attempt at a driverless motorbike – a completely autonomous rider that might one day be capable of competing alongside the very fastest racers.
The unusual thing about Motobot, aside from its creepy voice and apparent self-awareness, is that it is completely separate from the bike that it rides. It’s not just a computerised bike, it’s a computer that can actually ride a bike.
Right now Motobot might be restricted to a test track, and only allowed on a specially adapted motorbike with stabilisers whilst assisted wirelessly by engineers, but the bosses at Yamaha hope that it will one day be able to ride unsupported at over 200 kilometers per hour on any unmodified bike.
The ultimate aim of the project is to take the lessons learned from Motobot’s development and use them to make driving and biking safer in the future. By learning how computers can adapt to road hazards, and by making them even more reactive to road safety issues, engineers will be able to make driverless cars behave even better around motorbikes.
Still, when it says things like this, we can’t help but have sci-fi flashbacks:
I am improving my skills every day…perhaps if I learn everything about you, I will be able to catch up.