Hyundai's walking auto could save lives and even go to Mars

Hyundai's walking auto could save lives and even go to Mars

The robotic leg architecture features five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the "latest in electric actuator technology".

Called Elevate, the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMW) is created to be used by rescue services in emergencies such as natural disasters.

The auto is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle, meant to blend technology found in robots and electric cars, allowing it to traverse terrain that even the most capable off-road vehicles are unable to navigate.

Dubbed by Hyundai as the "Ultimate Mobility Vehicle", Elevate runs on a modular electric vehicle platform and has the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations.

The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut.

And Hyundai has released concept footage of how the vehicle would achieve this. However, it is worth mentioning that according to Hyundai the Elevate can walk "in mammalian and reptilian style gaits for omnidirectional motion".

We've been intrigued by Hyundai's "walking car" concept ever since the automaker teased it last week.

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Each wheel is powered by an electric motor, and they can be braked to work as feet as the vehicle walks either like a reptile or mammal, depending on the situation.

Officially, Hyundai says this first-ever vehicle with moveable legs would be ideal for disaster relief, the legs not only providing height and ground clearance but suspension as well, making it the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV).

This vehicle is also able to drive at high speeds. John Suh, VP of Hyundai Cradle, said Elevate is capable of climbing a 5-foot vertical wall or over a 5-foot gap while keeping its passengers level.

However, Hyundai says that the need to design the Elevate concept is more humanitarian.

And the Japanese motoring company showed how the vehicle could be used in disaster zones to save lives.

If someone could not access a building without a ramp, for example, the Elevate could walk across, level itself and allow the wheelchair to enter before moving it into the entrance.

"By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai's latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no auto has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom", said David Byron, design manager, Sundberg-Ferar.