Hyundai is getting serious about building a ‘walking car’ with four legs

Who wants an Apple automotive whenever you’ve acquired one with 4 legs? Hyundai, which lately acquired a controlling stake in robot maker Boston Dynamics, rolled out the newest model of its four-legged “strolling automotive” idea that it first unveiled in 2019.

Hyundai is looking it TIGER, which stands for “Reworking Clever Floor Tour Robotic.” It’s the second automobile to return out of the automaker’s Final Mobility Autos studio in Silicon Valley, and the primary designed to be absolutely autonomous. It’s like a real-life Transformer, simply with out the “bent on world domination” vibe.

In truth, Hyundai truly thinks its four-legged automobiles have the potential to make the world a greater place. The automobiles are designed particularly to entry distant areas for missions associated to scientific exploration, or to ship meals or medical provides to catastrophe zones.

However how does it work? TIGER has 4 “legs,” every with a collection of joints, enabling the automobile to imitate each mammalian and reptilian strolling gaits. In keeping with Hyundai:

Primarily based on a modular platform structure, its options embrace a classy leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional management, and a spread of sensors for distant statement. It’s also supposed to connect with unmanned aerial automobiles (UAVs), which might absolutely cost and ship TIGER to inaccessible areas…

With its legs retracted, TIGER drives like an all-wheel drive automobile and is in its most effective mode as a result of it strikes by rolling traction. However when the automobile will get caught or must journey over terrain that’s troublesome or impassable for wheels alone, it makes use of its strolling capacity to get unstuck or extra simply journey over that terrain.

In the event you’re getting a powerful Mars Rover vibe off this factor, that’s on objective: Hyundai thinks the expertise underpinning this automobile may make it ripe for an interplanetary mission. The strolling automotive can traverse uneven terrain, climb a wall, step over a spot, and unfold its legs to a 15-foot-wide monitor width — all whereas maintaining its most important cabin (and cargo) degree. When not within the area, the automobile’s legs are stowed beneath and could be pushed like a traditional off-roading automobile.

The primary four-legged idea, called Elevate, was designed to hold passengers, whereas TIGER is supposed to be fully uncrewed — no driver and no passengers. And whereas they could share some traits with Boston Dynamics’ robotic canine, Spot, neither idea was designed with any enter from the newly acquired robotics agency.

Hyundai was in consideration as a producing associate for Apple, which is planning on launching its personal electrical automobile. Nonetheless, these talks broke down lately and Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia have sought to downplay rumors it was working with the tech big.

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