Sunday, 24 March, 2019


Hyundai's 'Elevate' concept is a four-legged first responder

Hyundai Elevate Walking Car Concept Image Hyundai
Conrad Doyle | 09 January, 2019, 00:18

Hyundai has shown off a small model of a auto it says can activate robotic legs to walk at 3mph (5km/h) over rough terrain.

By blending electric auto and robotics technology, the Hyundai Elevate feels like a step toward sci-fi.

Electrically powered, the modular Elevate can switch out different bodies for different uses and, with five degrees of motion, the robotic legs can produce both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction. The vehicle would drive to the scene of an natural disaster or tsunami, for example, and then lift itself up on legs to walk across ground that would bring regular vehicles to a halt. Labelled as an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), the Elevate combines technology found in electric cars and robots, which allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicles.

Of course, the legs can also be retracted in what Hyundai calls a "stowed-drive" mode, and it will take to the highway like any other wheeled vehicle.

Hyundai sees this capability as useful in multiple situations, but perhaps most importantly as a first responder vehicle in situations such as forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes or floods. Elevate is designed with four mechanical legs with wheels for feet and can roll along on extended legs or retract them to be driven like a auto. This means it can function like a traditional vehicle, capable of traveling at highway speeds with passive suspension.

However, Hyundai says that the need to design the Elevate concept is more humanitarian.

According to Hyundai, the vehicle can can climb a 1.5 metre wall, step over a 1.5m gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 4.6m wide track width, while keeping the occupants level.

And Hyundai has released concept footage of how the vehicle would achieve this.

And it's not just disaster zones, the vehicle makers hope to also help people living with disabilities that don't have access to ramps, they could use the auto as a taxi that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in. "The possibilities are limitless.", mentions John Suh, VP and Head, Hyundai Cradle.

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