Hyundai has unveiled the world’s first ever vehicle with moveable legs at CES 2019.
The Hyundai Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) to blend technology usually found in electric cars and robots.
Such blending allows the Elevate to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-roader – making it the ultimate first responder too.
“When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot. Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” says John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE.
“This technology goes well beyond emergency situations. People living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in. The possibilities are limitless.”
The Korean car maker’s concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations.
According to Hyundai, Elevate’s robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom as well as wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the latest in electric actuator technology.
This design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.
The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency.
This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. The only difference is, it can scale a five foot wall, step over a five foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width – all while keeping its body and passengers completely level.
Image, video and content: Hyundai