Hyundai rescue vehicle concept walks like a reptilian

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The vehicle's four robotic legs each have five "joints" allowing for a different mode of movement, and have wheel hub propulsion motors that enable the vehicle to walk either with the feet in line with the body, or wider, similar to the way a reptile walks. If worst comes to worst, the vehicle can even freeze its wheels in place and "walk" over the debris field. Elevate is an electric auto with robotic legs, which can be used both to drive and to walk.

Future iterations of the platform could theoretically be used for a variety of applications beyond emergency response. "Elevate can drive to the scene and climb right over flood debris or crumbled concrete", said John Suh, Hyundai vice president and head of Hyundai CRADLE, or Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences. The Elevate is the first-ever vehicle with moveable legs, blending technology found in electric cars and robots.

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

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When in "drive-mode" with the "legs" automatically folded out of the way, the Elevate can cruise at highway speeds, just like a normal vehicle. This means it can function like a traditional vehicle, capable of traveling at highway speeds with passive suspension.

Hyundai says the walking concept can climb a five-foot wall, step over a five-foot gap, walk over diverse terrain and achieve a 15-foot track width, all while keeping its body and passengers "completely level". Giving an insight about possible Elevate applications Byron said "Imagine a auto 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".

The Hyundai Elevate has been designed with Sundberg-Ferar, located in Metro Detroit, a product innovation studio specializing in innovation strategy, design research, industrial design, user interface, engineering and prototyping. "The possibilities are limitless".

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