Hyundai this week revealed its Elevate concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as the Korean company's vision for the future of disaster response vehicles.
Hyundai calls the Elevate the first-ever vehicle with movable legs, combining EV technology with design elements borrowed from robotics -- and quite frankly, science fiction. Each of four wheels is mounted at the end of an articulated leg, a design that allows the car to "walk" across terrain that would challenge regular off-road vehicles. Adding to the sci-fi sensibility is the Elevate's ability to mimic both mammalian and reptilian gaits in order to move in any direction.
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When the Elevate is done climbing walls, stepping over five-foot-wide gaps and walking over "diverse" terrain (all things the automaker claims the concept can do), the legs can fold up under the body for highway driving.
When the going gets a little less rough, Hyundai says the wheels allow for faster walking speeds and, in driving situations, "unique dynamic postures and torsional control" at each leg.
But Hyundai envisions other uses for the Elevate's perambulatory abilities. People with limited mobility -- say, seniors or anyone using a wheelchair -- could benefit from the concept's ability to "walk" up stairs and allow a wheelchair to roll right in when no accessibility ramp is available. And in winter driving, if the Elevate were to skid off the road into a snowy ditch, the vehicle could simply walk back to the roadway and carry on.
Hyundai says the Elevate was conceived to be modular, built around an electric vehicle platform that could support a variety of bodies and uses.Hyundai's leggy lifesaver 1/8/2019 3:24:08 PM 1/8/2019 3:24:08 PM