Korean car manufacturer Hyundai has unveiled its latest vehicle.
But instead of being a family-friendly hatchback or a school-run SUV, the brand has revealed an autonomous vehicle that sprout legs and walk.
Called TIGER – short for Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot – it is an unmanned electric robotic vehicle designed to transport cargo and medication to the world’s most inhospitable locations.
Hyundai’s legged autonomous vehicle: This is the Korean car maker’s new Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot, which is designed to transport urgent goods to remote locations
This is the second walking car Hyundai has developed, following the unveiling of the legged Elevate vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2019.
Unlike the Elevate, the TIGER is self-driving and has been dubbed the first uncrewed ultimate mobility vehicle, or UMV.
The concept features a driven and sophisticated leg system with 360-degree directional control and a range of sensors for remote observation.
The high-tech machine will also be able to connect to an unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can fully charge and fly the walking car closer to the inaccessible location being targeted.
TIGER can also charge the batteries of the UAV carrying it, if the flying vehicle’s batteries are running low.
The vehicle is the brainchild of Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio, made up of young engineers, headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Dr John Suh, Head of New Horizons Studio, said: ‘Vehicles like TIGER, and the technologies underpinning it, give us an opportunity to push our imaginations.
The vehicle is the brainchild of Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio in California. It consists mainly of young engineers looking at future mobility projects
The vehicle uses an electric four-wheel drive system to efficiently reach inhospitable locations. If the terrain becomes too rough, it can sprout its four legs to clamber over items such as large rocks
‘We are constantly looking at ways to rethink vehicle design and development and re-define the future of transportation and mobility.’
He added: ‘Our mission is to develop products for customers whose needs include travelling over remote, inaccessible and complex terrain.
‘We believe the combination of legged-robotics and wheels will result in vehicles of unprecedented mobility.’
The TIGER concept features a driven and sophisticated leg system with 360-degree directional control and a range of sensors for remote observation
Hyundai unveiled its first walking vehicle – the Elevate – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2019. Like the TIGER, it was designed to transport medication to natural disaster locations
TIGER’s capabilities are designed to function as a mobile scientific exploration platform in extreme, remote locations and potentially on the moon.
A large load bay housed within its body means TIGER can carry goods for delivery or be deployed to deliver aid packages in emergency situations.
Leg-wheel articulation enables the vehicle to tackle a range of extreme situations while keeping payloads more level than a typical ground vehicle.
With its legs retracted, it drives like an all-wheel drive vehicle and is in its most efficient mode because it moves by rolling traction.
But when the vehicle gets stuck or needs to travel over terrain that is difficult or impassable for wheels alone – such as huge rocks, fallen trees or dense rainforest – it uses its walking ability to continue its journey where cars, vans and trucks would normally have to turn back.
Hyundai says TIGER’s capabilities are designed to function as a mobile scientific exploration platform in extreme, remote locations and potentially on the moon
This picture of the vehicle’s chassis show it has a large load bay within its body that means it can carry goods for delivery or be deployed to deliver aid packages in emergency situations
Back on earth, the vehicle can be flown into a remote area via an unmanned UAV. The two vehicles can also provide extra battery charging capabilities if either is running low
UMV concepts in development do not rely solely on wheels and are expected to address challenging driving situations.
For example, a car with robotic legs could save lives as the first responder in natural disasters, or people without access to a curb ramp could hail a car to walk up to their front door, level itself and allow wheelchairs to roll in.
Like Elevate, Hyundai’s other transforming four leg-wheel ground vehicle, TIGER shares similar characteristics such as well as their legs and wheels.
Both TIGER and Elevate blend robotic and wheeled locomotion technologies, allowing them to traverse terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle.
New Horizons Studio was set up by Hyundai to shape the future of mobility and bring onboard forward-thinking, innovative leadership from Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs.
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