Hyundai has unveiled an unusual "walking" concept vehicle that it claims is the first auto with "moveable legs". "Could you help someone elevate to a front door when they can't get out of their front door if it's someone with disabilities in a wheel chair and they don't have a ramp?"
What's more, the concept, which was developed in conjunction with Sundberg-Ferar, is based around a modular EV platform that allows different bodies to be switched and swopped when needed. Walking on its legs the Elevate can move at approx 5km/h.
The Elevate is envisioned as the Ultimate Utility Vehicle, and was created to ride on a set of retractable "legs" that can raise the cabin in the air and allow the vehicle to climb over 5-foot walls or across 5-foot gaps. Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), blending technology found in electric cars and robots, which allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle.
Furthermore, the legs can fold up into a stowed drive mode, where power to the joints is cut, allowing the Elevate to drive at highway speeds.
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The invention, unveiled onstage at CES, comes out of Hyundai's Cradle venture arm, which is also a research incubator for robotic and augmented transportation tech.
According to Hyundai, the vehicle can can climb a 1.5 metre wall, step over a 1.5m gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 4.6m wide track width, while keeping the occupants level. "What if a auto designed with robotics could save lives in disasters", said Hyundai's Innovation Head, John Suh.
And the Japanese motoring company showed how the vehicle could be used in disaster zones to save lives.
However, Hyundai's Elevate, which can also drive itself, is a much more radical design.
"By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai's latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no auto has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom", said David Byron, design manager, Sundberg-Ferar.