Hyundai takes off-roading to next level with Elevate walking vehicle

Hyundai takes off-roading to next level with Elevate walking vehicle

Called the "Elevate", Hyundai's Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) features wheels with robotic legs that allow users to drive, walk, or even climb over the most treacherous terrain.

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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. We are talking about the Hyundai Elevate concept showcased at the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show 2019. 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 vehicle. Cradle Hyundai Motor's corporate venturing and open innovation business, which partners and invests extensively in prominent global startups to accelerate the development of advanced future automotive technologies.

This design, says Hyundai, is "uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits", essentially allowing it to move in any direction.

Built on a modular vehicle chassis, Elevate vehicles can swap out robotic attachments for different situations, like a auto stuck in a snow ditch climbing its way back up to the road.

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The Elevate is envisioned as the Ultimate Utility Vehicle, and was created to ride on a set of retractable "legs" that can raise the cabin in the air and allow the vehicle to climb over 5-foot walls or across 5-foot gaps.

It can climb a 5ft wall, step over a 5ft gap and achieve a 15ft-wide track width - all while keeping its body and the passengers inside it completely level.

"This technology goes well beyond emergency situations", added Suh.

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 vehicle stranded in a snow ditch just 3 metres 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". This gives the Elevate omni-directional mobility capabilities and Hyundai claims that it can tackle all terrains seamlessly while adapting to varied degrees of difficulty on the fly.

Industrial design firm Sundberg Farar has been working with Hyundai Cradle on Elevate for the past three years.

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