CBBC Newsround: Walking auto that could save lives

10 January, 2019, 05:13 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Enlarge Image Your average concept car this ain't.                  Hyundai

More than 2,000 years after the wheelbarrow's debut in classical Greece, ushering in a new era of locomotion, Hyundai's latest concept auto is created to walk as easily as it rolls.

The robotic legs, with five degrees of freedom, also make the vehicle capable of both mammalian- and reptilian-style walking gaits. As Hyundai MOBIS explained, "LED boards" show a directional arrow indicating which way the vehicle intends to move. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete", says John Suh, Hyundai VP and head of the carmaker's Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences (CRADLE). Elevate is designed with four mechanical legs with wheels for feet and can roll along on extended legs or retract them to be driven like a auto.

The manufacturer claims the model can climb a five-foot wall and step over a gap of the same distance - all while keeping the passengers level.

"Its four highly dexterous and movable legs can be utilised in ways beyond the imagination to allow Hyundai's inception of a new vehicle category - The Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV)".

Hyundai has shown off a small model of a auto it says can activate robotic legs to walk at 3mph (5km/h) over rough terrain. The vehicle's legs can also be folded and stored to allow the robot to drive like a regular vehicle.

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Hyundai has been working on the concept with industrial design consultancy Sundberg-Ferar for three years.

For example, an Elevate stuck in snow on a roadside could get up and walk back to lanes of traffic, or the vehicle could be put to work exploring other planets. "This technology goes well beyond emergency situations".

It's not just for emergencies, though; if Elevate could be driven autonomously, it could improve the lives of wheelchair users without access to a stair ramp, climbing to their front door so they can manoeuvre their chair straight in. "The possibilities are limitless".

Hyundai Mobis is the parts and service arm of the greater Hyundai empire, and it's come to CES 2019 with some impressive autonomous-vehicle lighting that is used to communicate the car's intent to others in a way that, theoretically, could save pedestrian collisions from occurring.

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