blending technology found in electric cars and robots, hyundai describes their latest concept as the future of first response vehicles. debuting at CES 2019, ‘elevate’ is an ultimate mobility vehicle (UMV), designed to prepare communities in the event of a natural disaster.
images courtesy of hyundai
hyundai‘s elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. it moves using wheels with robotic legs that allow users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain. the robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom plus 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 with additional abilities like climbing a five foot wall, stepping over a five foot gap, and even achieving a 15 foot wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level. furthermore, the combination of wheeled motion with articulating legs provides a new paradigm of mobility by enabling faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg.
‘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,’ said 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.’
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