To help it better test the performance of its synthetic oils, Castrol has developed a robotic test rider named “Flossie.” Capable of operating flawlessly for long periods of time in the extreme heat and noise of a dyno room, Flossie rides bikes on a dynamometer, a rolling drum that measures an engine’s output. Flossie is also able to learn the subtle changes in clutch feel, throttle response and shift pattern, enabling it to teach itself to operate any bike or scooter.
Of course, it’s not just Flossie’s endurance that gives it an advantage
over human riders, it’s also capable of repeating exactly identical
inputs, enabling Castrol to repeat performance tests without variation.
This enables Castrol to conduct oil-to-oil tests with reliable results.
What Flossie’s not currently capable of are the other factors that make
it possible for humans to operate motorcycles: balance and the ability
to visually analyze then respond to its environment.