Hyundai sees Walking Car prototype as ideal disaster relief vehicle

Gladys Abbott
January 9, 2019

Hyundai has unveiled an unusual "walking" concept vehicle that it claims is the first auto with "moveable legs".

"This technology goes well beyond emergency situations".

The concept vehicle, which can apparently climb a five-foot wall and step over a five-foot gap while keeping its body and passengers completely level, is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. And once the first responders are clear of the disaster zone, the Elevate's legs retract under the cabin and drive like a conventional EV.

"Its four highly dexterous and movable legs can be utilised in ways beyond the imagination to allow Hyundai's inception of a new vehicle category - The Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV)".

The auto is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle, meant to blend technology found in robots and electric cars, allowing it to traverse terrain that even the most capable off-road vehicles are unable to navigate.

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The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut. "They have to go the rest of the way by foot", said John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai's CRADLE robotics research division. This allows the Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle.

The Hyundai Elevate has been designed with Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro Detroit, a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategy, design research, industrial design, user interface, engineering and prototyping.

But the Elevate can also do what no other vehicle can - climb a 5ft wall, step over a 5ft gap, or walk over diverse terrain, making it ideal for search-and-rescue missions or emergency response situations following natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. Not compared to Hyundai's CES concept, anyway. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete".

If someone could not access a building without a ramp, for example, the Elevate could walk across, level itself and allow the wheelchair to enter before moving it into the entrance.

Hyundai says it showcases technology that will be able to "take people where no vehicle has been before".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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