Yamaha unveils autonomous and robot-driven motorcycles

LAS VEGAS (REUTERS) - There may be a new king of the road - and it's a robot.

MOTOBOT is an autonomous motorcycle-riding 'bot that can ride standard Yamaha motorcyles at up to 200 kilometres per hour.

It's employed as a research and development rider, to help improve safety and push design and performance limits.

MOTOBOT went on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"MOTOBOT, there is a course that's programmed into it and it understands that it needs to go as quickly as it can around the course, so it understands that," Bob Starr, Yamaha's corporate communications manager said.

Yamaha also showed off the MOTOROiD - an autonomous proof-of-concept motorcycle.

It 'thinks' with the use of AI, cameras, sensors and facial recognition technology.


"It's tremendous robotic technology that Yamaha is working on and it's important for Yamaha to focus on these two aspects; so MOTOBOT is high speed performance, MOTOROiD is more low speed, handling and understanding of the rider. And MOTOROiD does face recognition and MOTOROiD will come to you when called and move away from you when asked to move away," Starr said.

With the ability to recognise a person's face and body movements, Yamaha says the MOTOROiD's auto-balance system helps it adapt accordingly to improve a rider's handling, mobility and safety.