Valentino Rossi (Still) Beats Yamaha’s Autonomous Motobot

Yamaha and SRI International in Menlo Park have been busy for the past months to develop an autonomous motorbike. The goal is to beat the lap times of motorbike champion Valentino Rossi. The team is using an unmodified Yamaha, on which a humanoid robot is sitting and using the controls.

Thanks to six actuators the robot can use all control elements of the bike. Clutch, gas, and levers can all be controlled by the robot.

The first goal was to reach an average speed of 200 km/h (130 miles per hous). The second goal was to beat Rossi’s lap time. But with 117 seconds the Motobot was far above Rossi’s 85 seconds.

Yamaha and SRI are now using machine learning to train the Motobot. Step by step the machine shall be coming closer to Rossi’s time.

This article has also been published in German.


    1. That’s what the people said about IBM’s Deep Blue against Garry Kasparov in 1997 or Google’s AlphaGo against Lee Sedol in 2016 as well.


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