Two years ago, Yamaha set out on an ambitious adventure: to create a motorcycle riding robot that can ride a motorcycle as fast as one of the greatest motorcycle racers of all time, Valentino Rossi.
Besides being a solid PR stunt, the development of Motobot brings with it some seriously powerful technology and insights into one of motorcycling’s great mysteries: rider dynamics.
With a machine the is capable of replicating human inputs on real-world motorcycles, Yamaha can improve its breed, both on the street, but also on the race track.
Now, the Japanese firm (with help from its Californian subsidiary) is just about ready to show us the results of its head-to-head matchup between Motobot and Valentino Rossi, but first it wants you to guess the results.
The venue appears to be Thunderhill Raceway – just outside of Sacramento, California – which is where the Motobot team has done much of its testing. Who will be fastest around the track will be anyone’s guess, but anything under two minutes on the original east course is considered a quick lap.
We might have some insight on the result however, with the knowledge that Yamaha plans to unveil its Motobot 2.0 prototype at the Tokyo Motor Show. It’s not clear if Motobot 2.0 was the robot that Rossi raced, or if it is the work-product of what was learned from that event.
Either way, we know it will look like the future…and be very blue.