Skip to main content

Hyundai Unveils Walking Vehicle Concept For Disaster Response

A Hyundai Elevate climbs itself out of a snow covered ditch.

image : Hyundai

Hyundai has unveiled a walking vehicle concept made for quick and less-stressful transportation in an event of disasters like earthquake, forest fire, hurricane or flood. The new concept dubbed Elevate blends technology from electric vehicles and robots which allows it to ride on rough terrains "beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle", Hyundai says.

It's based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch to different bodies for specific situations. It features a robotic leg architecture with five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motors enabled by electric actuator technology and is capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.

Hyundai Elevate in drive mode.

image : Hyundai

It can also drive like normal vehicles when its legs are folded up and power to the joints cut with use of an integrated passive suspension system for maximum battery efficiency at the command of the driver. Elevate can then drive at normal speeds in highways in this mode but is capable of climbing a five foot wall, stepping over a 5 foot gap, walking over diverse terrain and achieving a 15 foot wide track width while keeping its passengers stable when taken into action, Hyundai says.

A combination of wheeled motion with articulating legs enables for faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg, Hyundai also says. “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.” Industrial design company Sundberg-Ferar (collaborator with Hyundai) design manager David Byron said.

The Hyundai Elevate Concept helps a person get to a doctor appointment in a city.

image : Hyundai

In summary, features of the walking vehicle concept include:

  • Robotic legs with five degrees of freedom plus in-wheel propulsion.
  • Capability to climb a five foot vertical wall.
  • Non-back drivable motors that enable the legs to lock in any position.
  • Capability to step over a five foot gap and
  • Ability to walk in mammalian and reptilian style manner for omnidirectional motion.
“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,” Hyundai vice president John Su says.

Hyundai Elevate demonstrates its mammalian walking posture.

image : Hyundai

“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.”

Hyundai has worked with Sundberg-Ferar on the Elevate Concept for almost three years, “Elevate is part of our various ‘Last-Mile’ technologies and solutions and it also has ‘Last-100 Yards’ capability too.” design manager Byron added.


Comments

Most Read Posts

The Chainsmokers Close Debut VC Fund

Popular electronic music duo The Chainsmokers, consisting of band members Alexander Pall and Andrew Taggart, have secured $35 million in capital commitments for their debut venture capital fund named Mantis. Among investors who committed to the new fund include luminary venture capitalists Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, and Mark Cuban as well as private equity billionaire James Coulter. The Chainsmokers share management of the venture capital fund with two day-to-day general partners by the name of Milan Koch, an investor who previously worked at seed-stage fund Base Ventures, and Jeffrey Evans, a record label founder and business acquaintance of The Chainsmokers. Not long ago, Mantis made one of its first investments ever in LoanSnap, a San Francisco-based lending startup which it chipped into a $10 million funding round for. Even before the formation of Mantis, The Chainsmokers had been individual angel investors, backing upstarts including Ember Technologies, a maker of temperature-cont…

Apple Debuts A Cheaper Smartwatch

Apple has announced the Apple Watch SE, a cheaper variant of its popular lineup of premium smartwatches. The new Watch SE, taking the 'SE' name that's usually given to more affordable options of Apple's majorly premium products, packs similar features present in normal Apple smartwatches, including the same accelerometer, gyroscope, and always-on altimeter as the also newly unveiled Apple Watch Series 6, as well as safety capabilities including fall detection, Emergency SOS, and international emergency calling. The Apple Watch SE features Retina display, with thin borders and curved corners that's 30% larger than that of the Apple Watch Series 3. It comes with a dual-core processor that caters to fast performance, for comparison up to two times faster than the Apple Watch Series 3. Other of its features include standard ones like Bluetooth connectivity, Apple Siri, and the presence of a speaker and microphone.The basic (GPS) version of the Apple Watch SE will retai…

Tesla Eyes Nickel From Canada

Electric carmaker Tesla is in talks with Giga Metals, a publicly-traded Canadian miner, about helping to develop a large mine that'll provide low carbon nickel for Tesla batteries, as first reported by news agency Reuters. Tesla is apparently seeking to obtain nickel from sources where it can be mined more efficiently due to environmental pollution concerns, and Giga Metals may be one of such sources, with plans to turn waste from its carbon nickel mining operations into cement type rock by harnessing hydropower and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Giga refused to give comment specifically on a possible Tesla deal but clarified that it's in talks with automakers regarding its ability to efficiently mine carbon nickel. “The cost of developing our project, excluding bringing hydroelectric power to the site, will be less than $1 billion.” Giga Metals’s President Martin Vydra said in a statement.The demand for nickel is expected to surge globally in the coming years as individual…

Google Pledges 100% Clean Energy By 2030

Technology giant Google has announced a pledge to transition towards 100% renewable energy for its operations by the year 2030, a pledge which seems to be an extraordinary one for a company operating on a massive scale as Google's. The company says it'll work towards this goal beginning with all-round clean energy for all of its data centers and campuses around the globe. Google points out that costs for wind and solar power declined by 70% and 89% between 2009-2019 as a case that'll make it easier for the company to transition towards 100% renewable energy. It's such that the company has published a 27-page whitepaper as regards its transition plan. 
According to Google, its clean energy jobs will help create 12,000 additional jobs between now and 2025. As part of its efforts, Google will work together with more than 500 cities and local governments globally to help reduce carbon emissions. The video embedded below sheds more light on Google's plan, as narrated by…

Zwift Lands $450 Million In Funding

Zwift, a virtual fitness upstart, has announced that it's raised $450 million in funding led by private equity firm KKR, with participation from the likes of Permira, Zone 5 Ventures, the Amazon Alexa Fund, Highland Europe, and the venture capital fund of popular bicycle maker Specialized. The new investment gives the investors a minority stake in Zwift, which says it'll use it to accelerate the development of its software and hardware operations. Zwift is a virtual fitness startup whose core product is interactive software that can be linked to indoor bikes and treadmills to participate in virtual cycling and running competitions. Zwift's attraction lies in combining fitness with the appeal of gaming, pitching users around the globe in virtual fitness competitions among themselves.With the new funding, Zwift has now raised a total of more than $600 million in funding since its inception. The valuation that came with this round isn't disclosed, but for a hint, the $450…

Richard Branson Eyes $400 Million SPAC

Famed entrepreneur and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson is apparently looking into yet another business foray, this time looking to launch a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) named VG Acquisition Corp. VG Acquisition Corp has already put out a formal press release indicating its plans of raising $400 million by offering 40 million units of shares for $10 each. The special purpose acquisition company or blank-check company as they're fondly called is seeking to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "VGAC", with a formal filing already submitted with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC).Richard Branson, a successful long-time entrepreneur, isn't quite new to SPACs, having merged his aerospace company Virgin Galactic with one last year. Virgin Galactic successfully merged with Social Capital Hedosophia in October of last year and got $450 million to fund its operations in the process. The aerospace company began trading with an …

Beyond Meat Debuts Pre-Packed Meatballs

Plant-based meat products maker Beyond Meat has debuted a new product in the form of pre-packaged plant-based meatballs that'll be made available across grocery stores in the US starting from this week. The new pre-packed Beyond Meatballs will be launching at major US grocery chains including Whole Foods, Kroger, Albertsons, Sprouts, Harris Teeter and the likes. The standard package is 12 meatballs in a pack costing $7. The plant-based pre-seasoned meatballs can be used for a variety of meals such as soups, stews, and the likes. 
To mark the new product launch, Beyond Meat will set up 1-day pop-up shops in Los Angeles and New York City to give persons the option of tasting its product before a planned rollout across grocery stores. “We’re thrilled to introduce Beyond Meatballs as they deliver on consumers’ growing demand for delicious and nutritious plant-based meat options without GMOs or synthetic ingredients,” Stuart Kronauge, Beyond Meat's Chief Marketing Officer, said in a…

Berkshire Makes Bank On Snowflake IPO

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment conglomerate led by famed investor Warren Buffett, has apparently made bank on its recent bet on cloud computing company Snowflake. On the cusp of Snowflake's IPO, Berkshire reached a deal to purchase 2 million shares in the company along with another 4 million shares from an existing stockholder. Snowflake made its public market debut yesterday at an opening price of $120-per-share, implying Berkshire's total 6 million share purchase cost it roughly $720 million. Snowflake raised $3.4 billion on its public market debut, marking the biggest software IPO ever measured by how much the company raised from investors. It's such that investors are apparently very optimistic about Snowflake, with the company's share price yesterday doubling from $120 to about $254 at market close. By that calculation, the value of the 6 million shares held by Berkshire now amount to over $1.5 billion, implying a roughly $800 million profit for Berkshire'…

Nvidia Said To Near $40 Billion Arm Buy

Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank is on the cusp of a deal to sell Arm, the chip designer it acquired four years ago for $32 billion, for more than $40 billion to US-based chip company Nvidia, according to a report [paywall] by the Wall Street Journal. According to the Journal, SoftBank is set to sell Arm in a cash-and-stock deal that'll value the company in the low $40 billions, marking a sizeable return for SoftBank's $32 billion investment. Nvidia was first reported to in talks to acquire Arm back in July.A $40 billion deal would mark one of the biggest ever seen in the chip industry. It would also mark Nvidia's biggest acquisition, beating by far the company's $7 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies, an Israeli computer networking products maker. Nvidia completed its acquisition of Mellanox just in April of this year and is apparently set for yet another big buy. According to the Journal, a formal Arm acquisition deal could be finalized as early as …

Lucid Eyes Energy Storage Business

Lucid Motors, an electric car upstart which recently formally unveiled its first-ever car, is also eyeing business in electric energy storage, according to the company's CEO, Peter Rawlinson. Lucid, backed by more than $1 billion in private funding, seems to be following in the footsteps of Tesla, the famed electric carmaker, and it shouldn't be much surprising given that the company's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, is a Tesla veteran who served as Chief Engineer for its Model S vehicle. Lucid's first vehicle, the Lucid Air, is a luxury electric sedan that also bears similarities to Tesla's vehicles. 
Energy storage represents a sizeable business for capable companies, making it not much a surprise that Lucid is looking into the area. The Newark, California-based company says it aims to have a prototype of a commercial energy storage system installed at this headquarters by the start of next year. The system will store power generated from solar panels on the roof of Lucid&#…