Hyundai is all about the future and this year at CES they wanted to flaunt it. CES or Consumer Electronics Show is the place to be when you have a new technology or a product that is going to change a lot of things when introduced for the coming year. This year car manufacturers to have had a lot of presence here and with CES. What Hyundai has done this year is show us something that is completely different and mind-blowing. The Hyundai Walking Car Concept shown at CES 2019 comes with first responders, ambulances and taxi services in its mind. The car is a display of what can be done with a car when it loses a rolling chassis and takes up waking or hopping over obstacles. The cars maneuverability, reach and capabilities are taken to another level. The cars are called Hyundai Elevate and it will be crucial according to Hyundai and in some cases life-saving for those who are victims of natural or man-made disasters where mobility and reaching the victims is difficult.
- Debuting at CES 2019, “Elevate”, the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), prepares communities in the event of a natural disaster
- Wheels with robotic legs allow users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain
According to Hyundai, any first responder will tell you that the first 72 hours following a natural disaster are the most crucial to saving lives. However, often times due to the nature of the disaster (forest fire, earthquake, hurricane, or flood), it can be difficult for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid missions to reach and get immediate help to those in need. The need for efficient, rapid, resilient transportation for disaster assistance is what led Hyundai to develop the first-ever vehicle with moveable legs. Hyundai Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), blending technology found in electric cars and robots, which allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle.
The Elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. The robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the latest in electric actuator technology. This design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.
The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where the power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. This allows Hyundai Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. But no other can climb a five-foot wall, step over a five-foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15-foot wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level. Further, the combination of wheeled motion with articulating legs provides a new paradigm of mobility by enabling faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg.
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“By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, Hyundai Elevate has the ability to take people where no car has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom,” said David Byron, design manager, Sundberg-Ferar. “Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 10 feet off the highway being able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back to the road potentially saving its injured passengers – this is the future of vehicular mobility.”
Inside the Hyundai Elevate, passengers would experience a vehicle fully engineered to tackle the roughest terrain comfortably. Engineering enhancements include:
- Robotic legs with five degrees of freedom plus in-wheel propulsion
- Ability to walk in mammalian and reptilian style gaits for omnidirectional motion
- Capable of climbing a five-foot vertical wall
- Step over a five-foot gap
- Non-back drivable motors enable the legs to lock in any position
- The modular electric vehicle platform