Motto puts Robot in the saddle of a Yamaha R1M

Self driving cages are not much news thee days, nor are robots. But a robot driving a motorcycle?
Yamaha unveiled the bike-riding droid at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of October in Japan.
GizMag covered the debut with two surprising statements:
“…release images show the humanoid robot riding Yamaha's most sporting motorcycle, the 1000cc R1M.”
And, the debut is an “R&D effort aimed at developing a robotic rider which can ride an unmodified motorcycle competently on a racetrack.”
Yamaha did not release a lot of information. The official press release is one long paragraph.
This is an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot built around a fusion of Yamaha's motorcycle and robotics technology. R&D is currently underway with the goal of developing the robot to ride an unmodified motorcycle on a racetrack at more than 200 km/h. The task of controlling the complex motions of a motorcycle at high speeds requires a variety of control systems that must function with a high degree of accuracy. 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 idea of getting a robot to ride a motorcycle is not really new. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) actually launched a competition for autonomously driven vehicles (robot drivers with no one running a remote control) in 2004. That first year none of the vehicles passed the test CNN says they didn’t even come close. The challenge came from a Congressional mandate back then that 1/3 of all military vehicles have autonomous drivers. Despite the increase of drones, that goal was not met. DARPA is a military agency.
Motorcycles have participated in DARPA. One of the engineers behind a motorcycle entry described his bike in this Youtube video. Ghost Rider is named for the Marvel Comics bike-riding Hellfire-slinging anti hero Ghost Rider and his secret identity Johnny Blaze. Nicholas Cage also starred in movie adaptions of the comic.
GizMag got to interview the team behind Ghost Rider the DARPA entry. The website for the design team has since been taken down.


Judging from animated gifs from Yamaha showing test rides, the Japanese bike maker still has some work. The bike is equipped with bars over the rear that look like training wheels. These bars and the caster wheel at the base will prevent the bike from cornering well at high speeds. Again looking at these gigs, it appears a 10 degree lean is about all the setup is capable of.
Wired’s European website says the Japanese maker does has high plans for the mechanic rider on at the iron steed - “To beat MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi.”
Right now the ride and rider are focusing on straightaways at 60 miles an hour or so. The official speed is 100 kilometers per hour. Within two years, Yamaha expects to have Motobot taking race courses at 200 KPH (about 125 MPH).

1 Comment to Motto puts Robot in the saddle of a Yamaha R1M

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I though being on the bike yourself was the fun . If you think anybody is going to buy a bike and a robot or let a robot on my bike so it can enjoy it , think twice ! Not on my 1995 Heritage Softail flstn.

11/6/2015 at 8:40 am