Just when we’re trying to wrap our heads around Google’s Self-Driving Car project, Yamaha unveils their latest technological marvel at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show 2015 – a motorcycle riding robot.  According to Yamaha, “MOTOBOT is an autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot that approaches riding operations from a human rider’s standpoint — with no modifications made to the motorcycle itself.” Well that sounds totally cool and there’s more!

“The development theme is “Beyond Human Capabilities.” In general, robots are developed to specialize in a specific task and this typically allows them to surpass the capability of humans for that task. Utilizing this advantage, the end goal of MOTOBOT is to become capable of competing against Valentino Rossi’s lap times around a racetrack.” Hello, it’s going to do what now?

Motobot Rossi Comparison
Screenshot from MOTOBOT Ver. 1 / To ”The Doctor”, 親愛なるロッシへ (Photo Credit: ヤマハ発動機公式チャンネル / Yamaha Motor Official Channel)

Now, now before we throw up our arms in panic that the machines are rising, they didn’t say the bot was to replace Rossi; but by 2017 the Motobot should be able to “deduce the requirements for riding that exceeds human capabilities; lap a racetrack at 200 km/h or higher” If all goes to plan Yamaha will use everything they learn to benefit their customers by 2020.

The technology is obviously impressive especially since the official promo video shows Motobot Ver. 1 hitting triple digits on a Yamaha YZF-R1M! Still the video begins with the automaton sweetly saying to Rossi, “I was created to surpass you.” Yeah. Anyway tell us what you think! Is the Motobot the logical next technological step or is science going too far…again?