New Hyundai Team to Develop Walking Robotic Car
Hyundai’s vision for the future of transportation extends far beyond the traditional machines we’re used to seeing on the road. A new team formed by the automaker is developing an imagination-expanding car that can walk or roll on robotic legs and go where today’s vehicles can’t.
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The Elevate concept: Hyundai’s robotic car
New Horizons Studio will design and build what Hyundai refers to as Ultimate Mobility Vehicles, starting with the Elevate concept EV. Introduced last year, the Elevate concept can stride forward, backward, or sideways on its robotic legs — which also have wheels attached.
Hyundai says the Elevate’s legs could step across gaps, climb walls, and span a track width of up to 15 feet. The Elevate’s legs can also fold into the vehicle, allowing it to travel on highways like a regular electric car.
The Elevate would be an especially helpful tool for first responders during natural disasters. Search-and-rescue teams could use the Elevate to reach survivors even if a quake or flood rendered roads impassable.
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Vehicles like Elevate could also adjust their height to make access easier for passengers with disabilities. And they’d be well-equipped to deal with rugged terrain or snowy and icy weather.
To develop the Elevate concept, New Horizon Studios will be led by Dr. John Suh. Suh has worked in the automotive and tech industries for more than 35 years. That experience includes time as the head of Hyundai CRADLE (Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences), which originally came up with the Elevate.
Suh will get support from Dr. Ernestine Fu, the director of product management. Fu’s background includes working with emerging tech firms and leading research projects for Stanford University.
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A longtime editor/writer and recently transplanted Hoosier, Caleb Cook lives in Xenia, Ohio. His favorite activities are reading and listening to music, although he occasionally emerges from the heap of books and vinyl records in his basement to stand blinking in the sunlight. Once fully acclimated to the outside world again, he can be observed hanging out with his wife, attempting a new recipe in the kitchen, attending movies, walking the dog, or wandering into a local brewery to inquire about what’s on tap. See more articles by Caleb.