Hyundai's CES concept is a WALKING CAR

Daniel Fowler
January 8, 2019

It's created to reach areas affected by a natural disaster immediately after it has struck in order to save as many lives as possible. Each leg has five degrees of freedom: two in the hip, one in the knee, and two in the ankle all powered by an in-wheel propulsion motor.

When the vehicle is in drive mode, the legs are folded up and power to the joints is cut to extend battery life.

It features wheels with robotic legs that allow users to drive, walk or even climb "over the most treacherous terrain", according to the company. "They have to go the rest of the way by foot", said John Suh, Vice President and Head of Hyundai's CRADLE robotics research division.

Hyundai, who has been working on the idea with industrial design consultancy firm Sundberg-Ferar for nearly three years, says that the electric concept would be able to climb a five foot vertical wall and step over five foot gaps. The design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, as shown in the video. This allows the Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle.

But the Elevate can also do what no other vehicle can - climb a 5ft wall, step over a 5ft gap, or walk over diverse terrain, making it ideal for search-and-rescue missions or emergency response situations following natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes.

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In a statement, Hyundai added: "At CES 2019, Hyundai Cradle is presenting a totally new vehicle concept that combines the power of robotics and EV technology to take people where no vehicle has been before".

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.

"Imagine a auto 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", said said David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar.

Hyundai has been working with Michigan-based industrial design firm Sundberg-Ferar on the project for three years, but has not yet built a full-size working prototype, so it is likely still years away from possibly entering production. "Elevate is part of our various "Last-Mile" technologies and solutions and it also has "Last-100 Yards" capability too".

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