Hyundai unveils Elevate, the first-ever four-legged walking concept car, creating a responder ultimate mobility vehicle (UMV) with movable legs
In a natural disaster situation, the most crucial time to save lives is the first three days following the event. However, depending on the nature of the disaster, it may be difficult for humanitarian aid missions or search-and-rescue to reach and get immediate help to people in need. These dire need is what led Hyundai to develop the first-ever first-ever four-legged walking vehicle with moveable legs. Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), that blends the technology found in electric cars and robots. Elevate’s robotic legs allow the users to drive, walk or even climb over the most treacherous terrain. Its robotic allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle. Hyundai unveiled the new design concept and prototype vehicle yesterday at CES 2019.
The new vehicle combines the power of robotics and EV technology to take people where no vehicle has been before. The Elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. 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 enables the vehicle to operate in both mammalian and reptilian walking modes.
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. But no other can climb 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 provides a new paradigm of mobility by enabling faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg.
“By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no car has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom,” said David Byron, design manager, Sundberg-Ferar. “Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 10 feet off the highway being able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back to the road potentially saving its injured passengers – this is the future of vehicular mobility.”
Below is a video of Elevate in action.