Hyundai rescue vehicle concept walks like a reptilian

Enlarge Image Your average concept car this ain't.                  Hyundai

Enlarge Image Your average concept car this ain't. Hyundai

The Elevate was created using a combination of Hyundai's latest EV technology with the power of robotics.

Built on a modular vehicle chassis, Elevate vehicles can swap out robotic attachments for different situations, like a auto stuck in a snow ditch climbing its way back up to the road.

Hyundai calls the Elevate EV the world's first vehicle with moveable legs.

"Its four highly dexterous and movable legs can be utilised in ways beyond the imagination to allow Hyundai's inception of a new vehicle category - The Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV)". It combines the technology found in electric cars and robots, allowing it to travel across hard terrain, debris, stairs and places typical off-road vehicles can't reach.

Legs can also be folded away, allowing the vehicle to drive like any other auto on the road.

Hyundai sees this capability as useful in multiple situations, but perhaps most importantly as a first responder vehicle in situations such as forest fires, earthquakes, hurricanes or floods.

This vehicle is also able to drive at high speeds. Not compared to Hyundai's CES concept, anyway. When the terrain gets a bit bumpier, it can switch to active driving suspension or transform into a walking robot, mimicking mammalian or reptilian style gaits.

Hyundai, who has been working on the idea with industrial design consultancy firm Sundberg-Ferar for nearly three years, says that the electric concept would be able to climb a five foot vertical wall and step over five foot gaps.

If someone could not access a building without a ramp, for example, the Elevate could walk across, level itself and allow the wheelchair to enter before moving it into the entrance. "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", said designer David Byron from Hyundai's design partner, Sundberg-Ferar.

Elevate is part of Hyundai's "Centre for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences" (Cradle), which aims to enhance transportation on and off the road. "What if a vehicle designed with robotics could save lives in disasters", said Hyundai's Innovation Head, John Suh.

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