Last week on the Californian route “Thunderhill” the unusual rivals tried their forces. Valentino Rossi, the best modern motorcycle racer, has accepted the challenge from a new, improved version of the Motobot robot . And triumphantly won, but the developers of the machine are still pleased – they have moved far ahead.
The project “Motobot” started two years ago, its goal is to create a humanoid robot that can drive an ordinary bike better than professional racers. It is not integrated into the vehicle, but sits on the seat and uses the same controls as the person, relies on the principles of machine learning to adapt to the situation on the track. At the moment, Motobot confidently drives at speeds up to 228 km / h.
At the competitions in California, Rossi showed the result 1: 25.740, and the robot only 1: 57.504, which in the world of motorcycle racing is considered an unconditional defeat. But his sin is to blame – Motobot does not know how, like Rossi, instinctively slightly bend to keep the front wheel from lifting or change its profile of resistance to air flow. The robot ideally precisely switches transfers and calculates an angle of an occurrence in turn, but the driving subtleties inherent in the driver-pro, to it while are unknown.
Another drawback of Motobot: he can not get off his own bike, refuel the car, change the wheel. The robot has a specific, narrow function and is not suitable for use outside the racing track. What is it for then? Development and running-in of the latest technologies in extremely harsh conditions – the project itself is one of the most interesting experiments in modern robotics.