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.
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.
Via: Igarashi Design.