When Yamaha first announced what it planned to bring to Japan Mobility Show 2023, without a doubt, the most attention-grabbing vehicle on display was the Motoroid2 reference vehicle. It’s an evolution of the original Motoroid that it first brought to the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017.
Since that show was the predecessor of JMS, it’s fitting that the first-ever JMS event is where Yamaha saw fit to show off the advancements it’s made in the past six years. The first iteration of Motoroid touted the concept vehicle’s abiilty to recognize its owner, and to interact with that person “like a living creature.” It’s a concept that likely seemed further away in 2017 than it does in 2023, if I’m honest.
To show off the Motoroid2’s capabilities in 2023, Yamaha put together this video. The theme of this year’s presentation, which is supposed to encompass everything that Yamaha brought to the show, is “feeling life.”
You’re not just supposed to look at it. You’re supposed to experience it, and Yamaha’s products are supposed to enhance your enjoyment of it in various ways. (Fair enough; I mean, if you’re not having fun on a motorcycle, something is definitely wrong.)
Yamaha Motoroid at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show
Yamaha Motoroid2 at Japan Mobility Show 2023
In figuring out how best to demonstrate that the concept can recognize a human face and then interact with that human, someone at Yamaha decided to put together a dance routine. The resulting impression is part robotic pet, part ParaPara Paradise dance game partner. Oddly, it feels less purely futuristic than I imagine that its predecessor probably did in 2017.
Also, what’s up with the translucent blue protective plastic on some of the surfaces of one of the Motoroid2 demonstration vehicles? I’m not entirely sure if it’s a costume choice, since the blue perfectly echoes the visor on the rider’s helmet. Or is it meant strictly as protection? You know, like the plastic furniture covers at your grandma’s house, so you didn’t disturb the furniture while you sat on it?
Anyway, Yamaha has also clearly described Motoroid2 as a “personal mobility concept” rather than a motorcycle as we know it, even if it bears a distinct resemblance to a motorcycle. As a reference vehicle, it appears to be indicative of some advancements, including its self-balancing abilities.
There’s one segment in this video where a rider is mounted on the Motoroid2’s back, and several other Yamaha employees are around as the vehicle slowly moves forward. It looks like one guy on the left could be holding a controller in his hand. Is the rider controlling Motoroid2, or is the guy on the side operating it like an RC car?
Is this your vision of future mobility? Let us know in the comments.