Yamaha’s motorcycle-riding Motobot “was created to surpass you”


Yeah, that’s not creepy at all. This is a promo video for Yamaha’s motorcycle robot, called Motobot. And the supposed voice of Motobot, in the opening minutes of this video, does indeed claim that it “was created to surpass you.” And who knows, it might even achieve it some day.

For now though, Motobot seems to know its own limitations. It can’t react to events on the road the same way that humans can, it can’t put feet on the ground when it comes to a stop – which is why it has shopping trolley wheels sticking out the sides – and it can’t quite operate a motorcycle the way that a person can. But it’s doing a damned good job so far and there’s probably room for improvement. Yamaha seems to think so.

Motobot was on display at the Tokyo Motor Show this year but you tend to lose something when the robot isn’t actually riding a motorcycle. Which is why we opted for the sight of a robot operating a motorcycle on its own. Even if said motorcycle has training wheels for now. According to the manufacturer, plans are “…currently underway with the goal of developing the robot to ride an unmodified motorcycle on a racetrack at more than 200 km/h.”


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Brett writes for Stuff's digital platform and edits Stuff's print magazine, in between reading science fiction and every Batman comic he can get his hands on.

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