February 9, 2009 We're familiar with the soccer playing exploits of intelligent machines in Robocup and have been treated to a taste of what autonomous robotic systems are capable of in events like the DARPA Urban Challenge, but could a rider-less motorcycle robot compete with the speed demons of MotoGP? That's the vision of Japanese computer graphics designer Yutaka Igarashi who has conceived a new robotically controlled motorcycle design aimed at beating the lap time of a MotoGP bike around a circuit.

Powered by an electric motor, the concept is controlled by swinging a boom (which replaces the rider) through hydraulic actuators. The design is still at concept stage, so no power output or battery details have been specified.


Upgrade to a Plus subscription today, and read the site without ads.

It's just US$19 a year.


With robots now used for everything from automobile manufacture to robotically assisted heart surgery, a robot motorcycle could no doubt be very accurate at high speed. It may even be possible to replicate a fast lap using telemetry recorded from a human rider but we do have our doubts about whether the talents of a MotoGP riders can be successfully be digitized into G code to allow a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) machine to outperform them.

We have previously seen a robotic motorcycle called Ghostrider which has contested the DARPA Grand Challenge, but has never finished the course.

Paul Evans

Via: Igarashi Design.

View gallery - 3 images