Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Auto with legs: Hyundai Elevate concept can walk, climb

Auto with legs: Hyundai Elevate concept can walk, climb

The Elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. The leg architecture has "five degrees of freedom", according to Hyundai, as well as hub propulsion motors and actuators. If worst comes to worst, the vehicle can even freeze its wheels in place and "walk" over the debris field.

It has extendable and "highly dexterous" robot legs which allow Elevate to walk across the terrain. "What if a vehicle designed with robotics could save lives in disasters", said Hyundai's Innovation Head, John Suh. The "Elevate" (so-called for reasons that ought to be obvious, if you've already scrolled through the pics) is what Hyundai calls a "Ultimate Mobility Vehicle", or UMV.

But while Hyundai's concept is moving forward, it's unlikely to be appearing at a local dealership any time soon.

When the auto is in drive mode, the legs are folded up and power to the joints is cut to extend battery life.

The design is capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction. Dubbed the Hyundai Elevate, the Korean firm says the concept can traverse terrain "beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle".

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But the Elevate can also do what no other vehicle can - climb a 5ft wall, step over a 5ft gap, or walk over diverse terrain, making it ideal for search-and-rescue missions or emergency response situations following natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes.

"By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai's latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no auto has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom", said David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar.

If someone could not access a building without a ramp, for example, the Elevate could walk across, level itself and allow the wheelchair to enter before moving it into the entrance.

The auto maker Hyundai has revealed a new walking vehicle that they hope will be able to save lives in disaster zones.

Elevate is part of Hyundai's "Centre for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences" (Cradle), which aims to enhance transportation on and off the road.

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