Meet Flossie, Castrol lubricant’s robotic motorcycle test rider. Able to be fitted onto any motorcycle or scooter, Flossie can ride almost any two-wheeler that’s strapped to a chassis dynamometer.
Castrol use Flossie to test a variety of lubricants for a wide range of motorcycle products. Like some of the best human riders, “It [Flossie] is equipped with a self learning mode to enable it to know the gear change pattern, clutch feel and throttle response of the bike – just like any rider would on their first outing on a new machine,” says Castrol.
Unlike humans, however, Flossie “will perform the same gear change or the same acceleration time after time,” according to Castrol. This allows the kind of test reliability and repeatability that’s crucial for chemists to analyze data from different oils quickly.
Then, of course, Flossie has other distinct benefits. Flossie doesn’t get tired or suffer from saddle sore. Nor does it need ear plugs to shield from the sound of an engine screaming at 16,000 rpm. It’s able to ride in weather as low as -4 degrees Fahrenheit, up to 104 degrees, without complaining.
It’s likely only a matter of time before robots take over moto-journalism, but until that time comes, check out Castrol’s video below to see Flossie in action.