LONDON: Moving away from self-driving cars, Hyundai showed off a concept of its first ever ‘walking car’ that can walk or even climb over stairs or rough terrain.
At the CES 2019 tech show, automobile manufacturer Hyundai revealed a small scale design concept and prototype of its Elevate, an electric vehicle with four robotic legs to enable the car to walk to climb.
As per Hyundai, the need for efficient, rapid, and resilient transportation for disaster assistance is what led them to develop the first ever vehicle with movable legs. Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), blending technology found in cars and robots that lets it cross terrain ‘beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle’.
“By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, 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.
The concept is based on a modular EV platform with the ability to switch out various bodies for particular situations. The robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom and wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the latest in electric actuator tech. This design makes the vehicle of both ‘mammalian and reptilian’ walking steps, letting it move in any direction.
The legs fold up into a drive-mode where power to the joints is cut and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. With his, Elevate can drive at highway speeds like any other vehicle.
The vehicle can climb a 5ft vehicle wall, step over a 5ft gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15ft wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely comfortable and safe. Moreover, this car can prove to be really beneficial in rescue and emergency missions such as after a tsunami or earthquake the vehicle can driver up to the scene and climb over the flood debris or crumbled concrete.