- Hyundai Elevate blends EV and robotic tech to traverse difficult terrain.
- Developed by Hyundai for for efficient and rapid disaster assistance.
- Based on a modular EV platform that can switch between different bodies for specific situations.
- The Elevate is capable of climbing a five foot vertical wall.
Just when you thought that cars cannot get any more eccentric, Hyundai has gone and built one with four legs! We are talking about the Hyundai Elevate concept showcased at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2019.
Designed to address the need for rapid and efficient disaster assistance, the Hyundai Elevate is built on a modular EV platform that can switch between different bodies for specific situations. 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.
The robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the latest in electric actuator technology. Hyundai says 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 the Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle.
However, what makes the Elevate literally stand out is the ability to 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.
Further, the combination of wheeled motion with articulating legs equips the Elevate with faster walking speeds, dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg.
This gives the Elevate omni-directional mobility capabilities and Hyundai claims that it can tackle all terrains seamlessly while adapting to varied degrees of difficulty on the fly.
With a concept like this, Hyundai sees multiple possibilities in search and rescue operations, disaster control and other emergency applications where traversing difficult terrain quickly is needed.
Hyundai hasn’t released any information about the powertrain or production plans just yet, but we definitely believe that a concept like this makes a lot of sense. Reaching the disaster struck faster means saving a lot of lives.