“I am Motobot. I was created to surpass you.”
That quote is even creepier when you hear it spoken with a bad Italian accent by the robotic motorcycle rider designed by Yamaha.
The declaration is directed at 9-time world champion motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi, who has spent most of his career with the Japanese brand.
Yamaha says that the autonomous humanoid machine is being developed to be able to ride an unmodified motorcycle over 125 mph on a track.
The video released to introduce Motobot to an unsuspecting world shows it riding Yamaha’s top sport bike, the 1000cc YZF-R1M, around an empty lot. It takes turns and hits at least 60 mph as its metallic hands and feet operate the throttle, brakes, clutch and gearshift just like a person would.
Motobot isn’t ready to take on the champ just yet. It says it’s not even sure it could beat a five-year-old Rossi, but is improving its skills every day. Don’t believe it at your own peril.
And while there aren’t a lot of practical applications for a robot that can ride a motorcycle, Yamaha is using it as a test bed for technologies that can be integrated into the bikes themselves, making them easier and safer to ride.
Whether or not that includes a camera that looks over your shoulder for fast-approaching robots has yet to be revealed.
Test ride: 2015 Ducati Scrambler