To the project's credit, the Motobot is apparently already capable of piloting an R1M sport bike, but the choice of making it look like a person sitting on the cycle is still somewhat creepy. The Terminator-like visual even veers towards threatening with lines in the promo video above like: "I'm not human, but there has to be something only I am capable of."
While beating Rossi might never happen, Yamaha's more realistic goal with this endeavor is to develop the next-generation of rider safety tech, according to Gizmag. After all, once the bike can get around a track autonomously, imagine how much assistance it could offer a normal owner. In fact, Google might be toying with a similar idea, too.
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.