Hyundai has unveiled a bold new EV concept, the Elevate, which it claims to be the first-ever vehicle with moveable legs.
Revealed Monday the CES Show in Las Vegas, the mobility vehicle blends technology found in electric cars and robots to provide a vehicle aimed for a variety of applications, including search-and-rescue missions, extreme off-road driving and mobility uses.
The EV concept has been developed by Hyundai Cradle, a Silicon Valley-based center for robotic-augmented designs.
“When a tsunami or earthquake hits, current rescue vehicles can only deliver first responders to the edge of the debris field. They have to go the rest of the way by foot, “said John Suh, Hyundai Vice President and head of Hyundai Cradle.
“Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete.
“This technology goes well beyond emergency situations – people living with disabilities worldwide that don’t have access to an ADA ramp could hail an autonomous Hyundai Elevate that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll right in – the possibilities are limitless.”
The Elevate features robotic legs with five degrees of freedom, allowing the vehicle to walk in mammalian and reptilian style gaits for omnidirectional motion.
It is capable of climbing a five-foot vertical wall and can step over a five-foot gap.
The modular platform also allows different bodies to be switched out for specific situations.
“By combining the power of robotics with Hyundai’s latest EV technology, Elevate has the ability to take people where no car has been before, and redefine our perception of vehicular freedom,” said David Byron, design manager, Sundberg-Ferar.
“Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just ten feet 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.”
According to Suh, the concept has been in the works for almost three years.