The latest controlled and robotic Hyundai Elevate has brought around a revolution! The ease with which it can maneuver around inaccessible locations and encountered danger zones can be listed down as one of the biggest aid to the human civilization. The Hyundai Elevate concept showcases extreme versatility by climbing walls with the help of jointed wheeled legs, hopping over obstacles, crawling and even quietly cruising.
The innovation is a result of the collaboration between Hyundai’s CRADLE disruptive innovations incubator and Detroit product innovation studio Sundberg-Ferar, and works with a blend of the right amount of robotic and automobile engineering and can be called as the ‘Ultimate Mobility Vehicle’ (UMV). The invention has been well designed to cater to an emergency situation.
John Suh, the Vice President of Hyundai explained that during a natural disaster such as a tsunami, it is almost impossible for rescuers to reach the middle of the debris and look for any casualties, let alone deliver them the help they need. This is why they have brought around ‘Elevate’, which can drive right to the danger zone by climbing over debris and concrete and be of aid.
To bring around this level of flexibility, the Elevate has excluded the use of any axles and suspension wishbones and instead utilized individually powered wheels attached to robotic legs for free movement. The leg can attain up to 5 degrees of movement using vertical and horizontal hip joints, a knee joint, an ankle joint and a rotational steering joint. The vehicle can be spun to a complete revolution around a vertical axis.
Besides performing extra stunts, the vehicle can also drive down the highway on a normal pace. The legs can fold inwards and the power supply to the legs is cut down, redirecting the energy and improving efficiency.
The Elevate can use the legs to its advantage when it encounters a rocky surface. The legs will allow the vehicle to rise up (elevate) and overcome the obstacles. It can climb walls up to a height of 5 feet and step over holes by expanding its legs about 5 feet across. This makes it much easier to maneuver through a rocky landing, uneven roads, deep snow and even large boulders.
The motors and electric actuators that are intact to the vehicle are powered by a 66-kWh battery. The battery size and power were standardized after using stimulations of the Rubicon Trail.
Apart from functioning as an emergency aid, the vehicle can shapeshift into a variety of body types. For instance, Suh explained that 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 invention was showcased at the CES 2019, but is yet to take charge out on the streets.
All Images: Courtesy of Hyundai