Yamaha’s Motobot Gets Its Robot Ass Kicked By Very Fast Human Valentino Rossi

If you thought this “robot apocalypse” was going to be quick, smooth and over before us humans noticed, you were wrong. Robots are cocky. Just look at this motorcycle robot, which (who?) looked at seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi and said, “I am Motobot. I was created to surpass you.”

Um, excuse you? If we humans can’t control the robot sass mouth, we definitely can’t keep the impending robot uprising under control. Happy doomsday!

The Motobot went on to say, in its nasally, annoying and apocalyptic robot voice, that its attempt at beating Yamaha MotoGP rider Rossi has been in the works for three years. But Rossi had some news for Tron’s arrogant cousin, beating it by more than 30 seconds on the 2-mile Thunderhill Raceway Park. Enjoy what could be one of humanity’s last triumphs over our robot masters:

The Motobot is a Yamaha project, which the company has said is a humanoid robot that, unlike a lot of autonomous projects, has the robot itself driving “a vehicle unmodified for autonomous use.” It will likely attempt to take over the world one day in its carbon-fiber shell, which makes it an incredibly lightweight rider on this Yamaha R1 bike at 99 pounds. That’s a power-to-weight ratio that advantages ol’ Robo if it’s chasing you down during a robot attack.


But Motobot has a lot working against it, at least while its goals are still to beat Rossi on a race track and not take down the entire human race. The robot isn’t able to work the bike much with its body, which is a stark contrast from what professional riders do. Here’s a great explanation from New Atlas:

While Motobot has very precise track positioning sensors, as well as fine control over throttle, brake, clutch, steering and gearshift inputs, its sorta-humanoid form is unable to move around on the bike at all - and that’s a huge part of high performance riding.

Top level GP riders like Rossi hang so far off the inside of the bike in the middle of corners that they drag knees, elbows and damn near shoulders on the track, helping to keep the bike itself more upright. They hunch forward under acceleration to keep the front wheel from lifting. ... They dangle the inside leg off the bike under particularly extreme braking to … well, I’m not exactly sure why they do that, but they all seem to think it helps them go faster. GP level riding is an intensely physical sport; the rider’s backsides barely touch the seat.

So, the good news is that Rossi and other professional motorcycle riders are safe from the robot motorcycle army for the time being, since they can still outrun it. The rest of us better ready the underground bunkers and leave the rest to fate.

Staff writer, Jalopnik

Share This Story

Get our `newsletter`


Mike Ramsey

Self Driving cars I get but a self driving motorcycles might be the dumbest most pointless thing I’ve ever heard of in my life.