Picture the scene: the future of travel 2080 AD. We'll be riding around in our flying cars, darting amongst skyscrapers as high as the clouds—because we will definitely have them by them (we better anyway). While down on terra firma hordes of wild motorcycle gangs will colonise the roads that we left behind long ago. Except these motorcycle gangs will have robot riders.
It's a possible future, if a little elaborate and sci-fi-esque. But it could happen. And the first step towards it is Motobot, a robot rider who Yamaha unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show.
In the video Motobot rides a 1000cc Yamaha R1M superbike and says his riding style is inspired by Valentino Rossi. He isn't yet able to travel on a motorbike as well or as fast as his human contemporaries, but he will be in time. Lets hope it's not going to manifest into something like the robot bikers in Terminator Salvation though.
"I am improving my skills every day but I am not sure I could even beat the five-year-old you. Perhaps if I learn everything about you, I will be able to catch up. I am not human, but there has to be something only I am capable of. I am MOTOBOT. I was created to surpass you." he says, ominously, in the video.
The robot isn't going to start competing against humans any time soon then, but rather it's an experiment, a way for Yamaha to learn more about the science and physics of whizzing around on a superbike.
But one day maybe he'll lead the world's first robot biker gang. One day.