Hyundai Is Making A ‘Walking Car’ That Can Drive On Four Legs
Hyundai recently made headlines because of talks with Apple, but it seems that the car manufacturer has plenty of ideas for itself, including a four-legged car.
It doesn’t seem like anyone was asking for cars with legs, but Hyundai has given us just that anyway, and it seems the company has large ambitions for the future. The project, called TIGER, continues Hyundai’s practice of investing in emerging technologies and comes shortly after the company acquired Boston Dynamics.
The ‘Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot’ is intended to be fully autonomous, and will enable exploration as well as deliver essential goods in emergency situations.
An autonomous four-legged vehicle may sound a bit confusing, but Hyundai has explained how the TIGER will work:
Based on a modular platform architecture, its features include a sophisticated leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional control, and a range of sensors for remote observation. It is also intended to connect to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can fully charge and deliver TIGER to inaccessible locations…
With its legs retracted, TIGER 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, it uses its walking ability to get unstuck or more easily travel over that terrain.
Unfortunately for those who would like to drive this odd machine, the vehicle doesn’t have room for passengers. Nonetheless, it is hoped that the legs can enable travel in space, as it can navigate difficult terrain with its 15ft track width to get over gaps and find ways around difficult objects.
The vehicle is still only at a conceptual stage, but Hyundai is investing in multiple UMV concept cars, and given the clear uses for the vehicle, it may well make it into production. Furthermore, the company has looked at four-legged vehicles before when it created a concept called Elevate. With that in mind, it seems that the company will one day release a four-legged autonomous vehicle even if it goes through some changes and goes by a different name.
It seems that regardless of a relationship with Apple, Hyundai has plenty of innovative projects that may change how we explore new worlds as well as get around our own.
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