A photo posted on Twitter by Augusto Moreno de Carlos, editor of the Spanish magazine Motociclismo, provides an insight into how the development of technology can take interesting paths. The photo shows how ASIMO, the robot Honda has built as a technology demonstrator and R&D project, provided some of the crucial technology for HRC's MotoGP machine. The multidimensional inclinometer used by the RC212V to detect the attitude of the bike is a direct development of the system used by ASIMO to monitor the robot's balance as it walks and runs. The inclinometer, consisting of a collection of gyroscopes and accelerometers, provides information on how the position of the bike is changing: Is the bike banked over in a turn? Is the bike wheelying under power, or pitched forward on the brakes? How hard are the braking forces? How fast is the bike being tipped into the corner?
On the basis of this information, the electronics package on the RC212V can change the engine power characteristics to help the riders control the bike better. By sensing that the bike is braking hard - especially by combining brake pressure information with data from the inclinometer about the attitude the bike is in - the electronics can regulate the amount of engine braking to apply. By sensing that the bike is leaned hard over, power delivery can be made smoother to prevent the rear tire from breaking traction too harshly. By sensing that the bike is being stood up hard on corner exit, power delivery can be ramped up more quickly, allowing the bike to accelerate harder as the rider gets the bike onto the fat part of the tire.