Recently I've stumbled upon a very nice master's project on

It looks cooler than Google’s self-driving panda car, even if it’s only miniature. This model bike is a step toward fully autonomous motorcycles and overcomes a main challenge with two-wheeled vehicles: not falling over.

Eric Unnervik, a master’s student at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, developed the mini bike to demonstrate some of the technology that could lead to full-on autonomous motorbikes. At the moment, the bike needs a human controller to tell it where to go via a remote control as it has no GPS, but it can ride there by itself—crucially, without flopping on its side.

In a video, Unnervik explains (in French) that his grown-up Hot Wheels toy contains a Raspberry Pi computer with NAVIO2 autopilot and sensors that measure the bike’s angle and speed. A servomotor adjusts the steering angle as needed so the bike won’t fall as it travels up to 60 km/h.

He says he’d ultimately like to race a 100 percent autonomous bike against one with a rider.

Cars have so far stolen the autonomous road vehicle limelight, though Yamaha unveiled a motorbike-riding robot at CES this year, and Google has lobbied to keep regulations open to testing autonomous motorcycles.

The question remains as to quite why anyone would want a motorbike that drives itself—to get that wind-in-your-hair feeling without the hard work, perhaps?

Photo from the Recantha:

The Mini Bike

© 2016 EPFL / Alain Herzog

Original source with action video

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  • Moderator

    Reminds me of the Terminator-bike thing in Terminator Salvation

  • I cant but agree with you here, still it looks cool!

  • It is cool but as a motorcycle rider I think it is the worst! Keeping a motorcycle balanced is part of the whole idea, feel and thrill of riding!

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