[ExI] [Bulk] Re: [Bulk] Robot riding a motorcycle

spike spike66 at att.net
Thu Oct 29 18:50:17 UTC 2015

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf
Of BillK
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:57 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: [Bulk] Re: [ExI] [Bulk] Robot riding a motorcycle

On 29 October 2015 at 16:18, spike  wrote:
> OK then, now I am in territory I don't know nearly as well, the 
> sensors.  I welcome any sensor hipster assistance, but I am imagining 
> something like a pair of GoPros and a pair of MEMS ring laser gyros?  
> I bet we could integrate those signals and figure out a poor-man's 
> control system with that input...

>...Hmmm --  I think there is a bit more involved than a few sensors and
processors.  :)

Well sure, but using the Raspberry class processor in a Lego Mindstorm
robot,  you can make a robot balance on two wheels side by side (like a
Segway.)  I have a vague notion the control system needed to ride a
motorcycle isn't all that difficult: your MEMS gyros would tell you
acceleration about the axis that runs fore to aft, a transducer on the
steering crown would tell you the position of the front wheel, and you have
a forward speed from a speedometer cable.  Hell I think I could durn near
write that control system myself

>...Let Yamaha do all the research, then buy a kit from them...

Hmmm, nein.  Yamaha is interested in selling motorcycles and perhaps
humanoid robots.  I am looking to use existing wrecked bikes and go around
the humanoid robot as overkill (way cool in itself, but far more expensive
than what I want to do here.)  I can get MEMS gyros and cameras, I can
modify a wrecked bike with actuators and transducers.  Might need to make it
a remote guided system at first, with remote operator controlling only speed
and direction.  We could write an algorithm to shift when needed based on
engine speed and ground speed.  We could write an algorithm to do

If you already know about countersteering, skip this paragraph.  On a
motorcycle (or a bicycle) when you want to go right you turn left (in a
sense.)  Try it.  Go out in a big empty parking lot, ride straight, choose
to go right and watch what your hands do: your left hand pulls the handlebar
or right hand pushes, sorta like turning left.  The bike leans to the right
and off you go to the right.  My motorcycle intuition nearly got me killed
first time I rode a jet-ski, where you turn the bars right to go right,
which is the opposite to how you do a motorcycle.  I think we could write an
algorithm that understands countersteering.

>...It might be easier to use one of the new 3-wheel bikes with two tiltable
front wheels.

Hmmm, I need to give that some thought.  It would help with stopping and

>...So I think you are a bit early to be developing your own robot racers!
:)  BillK

Oh on the contrary, sir, I think we are a bit late.  While we sit her
pondering how to do it, others will kick our asses.  Once I saw your video I
realized we are already late to the party.

There may be a completely logical intermediate step however: the bike need
not have all the software to pick the best line around the track.  We can do
speed and direction control easily enough, assuming the bike gets to
override the operator inputs if they are sufficiently illogical, such as
holding in a tight turn after the pegs begin to drag the ground.

Alternative: the game is set up two traffic cones 100 meters apart on flat
pavement.  Ten laps, one bike, stopwatch, GO!  

With those simple rules, anyone anywhere on the planet can compete, since it
is a time trial and doesn't require a race track.  Any parking lot will do.
This game could even be played indoors.  They have in San Jose a club that
does an indoor 1/8 mile ovals inside an arena.  Doing the calcs in my head,
an 1/8 mile oval means the end posts are about 1/16 of a mile apart and a
mile is 1760 yards, which means a 1/16 of a mile is close enough to 100
meters, and I recall that is about how far those end posts are located.

Sound like a cool challenge?  BIllK, are you Brits up to it?  Recall we beat
you guys in 1783 and again in 1812 (or perhaps we could call that one a
confusing draw) but in any case we owe you a rematch, ja?  Yanks vs Brits,
flat pavement, two cones, 100 meters apart, 10 laps, no meat.  

I think Japan is ahead of both of us.


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