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Bike Bits: Honda patents real time rider training device, Yamaha taking Motobot on track, Bell shows built-in helmet cam


WHILE Yamaha have just announced phase two of the development of Motobot, its robot rider, Honda is fighting back by filing a patent for the Live Computer Instructor, an interactive digital system aimed at helping motorcyclists become better riders.

The Live Computer Instructor System, Honda says, is a personal, digital, smart advisor that shows motorcyclists how they can improve their riding style and be safe while at it.

To do that a host of sensors will be employed to generate riders data — gyroscope, accelerometer, steering angle sensor, GPS locator, speed sensor and a video camera.

This sensor array feeds data into a mini-computer and the human interface is a touchscreen display installed on the bike dashboard. The computer analyses the data stream and programmed to make suggestions in real time.

Unlike having a human coach that watches his student perform on the track or road and then discusses what was cool and what went wrong, the Live Computer Instructor offers solutions during the ride.

The potential use of such a system seems limitless — help new riders learn how to ride better and safer in certain conditions and professional riders will get instant on-track feedback to fine tune their corner lines, braking points and so on.


YAMAHA’S Motobo, which could ride an unmodified motorcycle was rightfully a sensation last year’s Tokyo Motor Show.

Now Yamaha and project partners SRI International say that the robot is ready to start riding on an actual circuit.

The main goals of the project were to start understanding rider ergonomics and dynamics from a robot’s point of view and replicate the human actions.

This included weight shifting, moves, the way the bike reacts in certain scenarios and being able to program adequate responses from MOTOBOT. Basically, by doing so, Yamaha MOTOBOT became one of the most precise and comprehensive instruments for acquiring data regarding rider dynamics… and itself.

Yamaha says that MOTOBOT will make its way to the race track, as the ultimate goal is to have it doing 200 km/h on a circuit. While this is not a competition, Yamaha says that their “deadline” is 2017.

“In succession from phase one – phase two further develops the platform technology toward
actual circuit riding.

“Furthermore, the sophisticated technologies acquired in achieving the
high objectives detailed here are also intended to be applied to advanced technologies and
rider support systems in the future, as well as other options that may segue into new
business development,” the company said in a press release.



WHUILE BMW is working on an advanced HUD display for its helmets, American company Bell has struck first, launching a helmet that includes an integrated camera — the Star with 360Fly, at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The Star with 360Fly, which will be on sale at the end of the year, is based on Bell’s existing Star helmet and has a detachable 360-degree 4k video camera made by 360Fly, which is integrated into the top of the shell.

The camera features built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which will allow users to live-stream video and wirelessly transfer files to a computer or other device.

It’s also equipped with a GPS sensor for geotagging locations, plus a barometer/altimeter and accelerometer to gather additional information to supplement video footage. The battery will last a claimed two hours.

Interestingly Bell’s parent company BRG Sport says the new helmet will have collision avoidance alerts that inform the rider of potential oncoming dangers that are outside his/her field of vision.

Bell says the technology will be tested over the coming months prior to the helmet going on sale.


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