Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Hyundai's so-called Elevate vehicle, claimed to be the first ever auto with moveable legs, borrows technologies from the worlds of robotics and electric vehicles to create a vehicle that can drive, walk and even climb across some of the most rugged terrain.
Its body can be changed and entered from all four sides, its robotic legs have five degrees of freedom and wheel hub propulsion motors. This allows the Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. With current emergency vehicles, it can be hard for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid missions to reach and get immediate help to those in need.
The Elevate uses a modular EV platform and can be fitted with different bodies for various needs and situations.
This, as the automaker points out, makes the concept well suited to first responders in emergency situations. "But the hip joint design allows it to rotate into mammalian if you want to walk faster or more efficiently in a linear direction".
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With the Elevate's legs stowed, power to joints is disconnected to maximise battery efficiency and will allow the walking auto concept to function like most vehicle's on the road.
For example, an Elevate stuck in snow on a roadside could get up and walk back to lanes of traffic, or the vehicle could be put to work exploring other planets. "Imagine a auto 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", said designer David Byron from Hyundai's design partner, Sundberg-Ferar.
The company proposed a hypothetical scenario where a auto was stranded in a show ditch 10 feet off of a highway. According to Hyundai, Elevate can climb even a five-foot high wall.
According Hyundai MOBIS' director of lamp engineering, Mirco Goetz, "Light has been used as a conduit for communication among vehicles and pedestrians for nearly as long as the automobile has existed, so we are excited to lead the evolution of this technology to save lives and offer peace of mind to all that use the road".