Technological innovation is transforming all aspects of the motorcycle production process, even the product testing phase. The development of new, state-of-the-art testing technologies allows companies to design and produce cutting-edge motorcycles that offer increased safety and superior performance.
In 2015, Yamaha introduced the MOTOBOT, a state-of-the-art, motorcycle-riding humanoid robot. MOTOBOT is a fully autonomous robot that approaches motorcycle riding operations from a human perspective. The MOTOBOT has six actuators to control the steering, throttle, front brake, rear brake, clutch, and gearshift pedal. It also has the ability to automatically take in and analyze information, and make adjustments, resulting in a more human-like riding experience. This allows the manufacturer to capture real-time data more accurately than before.
With MOTOBOT, Yamaha has transformed how its motorcycles will be designed and tested in the future. In contrast to its robotic predecessors, the MOTOBOT can ride unmodified motorcycles, giving it much greater versatility and making it much more valuable from a motorcycle-testing perspective. The company also views the MOTOBOT technology as a foundation for future robotics research.
In the future, Yamaha hopes to use advanced sensors, high-precision GPS, and other technologies to build MOTOBOT robots that can make a wide range of autonomous decisions. The company plans to further develop this technology and race the MOTOBOT against professional human riders beginning in 2017 to fully test its abilities.
With some minor modifications, the MOTOBOT can also be used to test a variety of other machines, ranging from snowmobiles to all-terrain vehicles.
The MOTOBOT and a wide range of other innovative technologies are expected to transform the motorcycle manufacturing process by providing producers more detailed and precise information and giving them greater control. To find additional information about technological innovation in the world motorcycle industry, see The Freedonia Group’s World Motorcycles study.
About the Author: Gleb Mytko is an Industry Analyst at The Freedonia Group, a leading international business research company that publishes more than 400 market research studies annually.