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Future Tech: 

The robot who rides a motorbike


Impressive, yes, but look closely and you’ll spot the stabilizers.

We’ve had self-driving cars, now meet the robot who can ride a motorbike. He’s called Motobot, and while we’d love to think we’ll see him racing up and down the streets (“Hey Motobot!”), he’s actually Yamaha’s latest ploy to improve rider safety.

He can ride completely on his own with no help from humans. And while he currently can only go slowly and needs training wheels to stop from toppling over, Yamaha ultimately hopes to have him blazing along at speeds of over 120mph. As the promo video mentions more than once, he was “created to surpass you”. It even ends with the tagline “Beyond Human Capabilities”, so it’s obvious Yamaha thinks it can one day outdo human riders.

Yamaha hasn’t said too much about Motobot, but it has hinted at one possible use. As well as helping to improve rider safety, it will also “pioneer new lines of business”, which hints it could have a self-driving motorbike up its sleeve.

What would be the point of that? you might wonder. Surely the whole point of a motorbike is to ride it? Well maybe. But it could prove useful for parking and putting away the vehicle if you’re not in the mood, like a robotic valet. Or for taking anyone without a licence out for a spin, so they can experience the thrill for themselves.

Either way, there’s no denying it’s a seriously clever piece of technology. He rides regular motorbikes, with no adjustments needed, and has special grips for using the controls and pedals. We can’t wait for him to grow up and lose the training wheels.

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