first responder will tell you that the first 72 hours following a natural
disaster are the most crucial to saving lives. However, often times due to the
nature of the disaster (forest fire, earthquake, hurricane, or flood), it can
be difficult for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid missions to reach and
get immediate help to those in need.
need for efficient, rapid, resilient transportation for disaster assistance is
what led Hyundai to develop the first-ever vehicle with moveable legs. Elevate
is the first Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), blending technology found in electric
cars and robots, which allows it to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of
even the most capable off-road vehicle.
“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. Elevate can drive to the
scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete,” said John Suh,
Vice President and Head of Hyundai CRADLE, adding that, “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.”
Elevate concept is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch
out different bodies for specific situations. The robotic leg architecture has
five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motors and is enabled by the
latest in electric actuator technology. This design is uniquely capable of both
mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.
legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut,
and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery
efficiency. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other
vehicle. But no other can climb a five foot wall, step over a five foot gap,
walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width, all while
keeping its body and passengers completely level. Further, the combination of
wheeled motion with articulating legs provides a new paradigm of mobility by
enabling faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional
control at the end of each leg.
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, adding that “Imagine a car stranded in a snow ditch just 10
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.”
Source: Hyundai Cradle
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