Yamaha’s autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid robot
What makes the MOTOBOT project unique is its approach to completely automated operation. Unlike the current methods used for automobile self-driving systems, which have progressed in recent years, the aim is for a humanoid robot to operate a vehicle unmodified for autonomous use. Based on data for vehicle speed, engine rpm, machine attitude, etc., MOTOBOT will control its six actuators* to autonomously operate the vehicle. Going forward, technology for machine position recognition (high-precision GPS, various sensors, etc.) and machine learning will be utilized to enable MOTOBOT to make its own decisions regarding the best lines to take around a racetrack and the limits of the motorcycle’s performance, so that it can improve its lap times with successive laps of the track. From this project, we will be able to visualize data about human motorcycle operation, deduce the relationship between rider input and machine behavior, and then use the resulting know-how in developing vehicles for creating even greater Kando. Also, by altering MOTOBOT’s control programming and the shapes of its operating mechanisms as necessary, we anticipate it will also be adaptable to ride other vehicles like personal watercraft and snowmobiles.