On a snow-covered road into the ditch? No problem for Hyundai Elevate. (Photo: Hyundai)

The Hyundai "Elevate" Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) debuting at CES 2019 can be used in natural disasters, in war zones or as a mobility aid for those with physical disabilities. Wheels with robotic legs allow flexible use even in the most insidious terrain.

Why does Hyundai develop a vehicle with wheels that hang on robot legs? Each first responder will confirm that the first 72 hours after a natural disaster are the most important ones to save lives. However, due to the nature of the disaster (forest fire, earthquake, hurricane or flood), it can often be difficult to find search and rescue operations and humanitarian relief operations and provide immediate help to the needy.

The need for efficient and resilient means of transport for disaster relief has led Hyundai to develop a vehicle with moving legs. Running four-legged robots are not new, but the combination with a moving car. Elevate is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle with a hybrid technology used in electric cars and robots. It makes it possible to cross terrain that is not suitable for off-roaders.

When a tsunami or earthquake occurs, ambulances can only bring first responders to the edge of the debris field. You have to walk the rest of the way. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb over flood debris or concrete chunks," said John Suh, vice president of Hyundai and head of Hyundai CRADLE. "This technology goes far beyond emergency situations – people with disabilities worldwide who do not have access to an ADA ramp could welcome an autonomous Hyundai Elevate who could walk to their front door, align themselves and wheelchair – the possibilities are endless . "As an example, a car stranded in a snow trench ten meters from the highway and able to walk or climb over the treacherous terrain, back onto the road and possibly the injured occupants save in time.

Four Robot Feet with Hub Motors

The robot foot architecture has wheel hub drive motors and is made possible by the latest electric drive technology. The concept is copied from Mammal and Reptile Movements so that Elevate can move in any direction. The legs can also be folded to the stowed drive mode, which cuts off power to the joints, and the use of a passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speed like any other vehicle. But no one else can climb a five-meter-long wall, step over a five-meter-long gap, go over various terrain, while the body and passengers remain on one level.

Video: Hyundai Elevate – Car Learns

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