Walking car: Meet the Elevate, the car with robot ‘walking’ legs

The Elevate also offers huge benefits for people who are tethered to a wheelchair. It gets ‘the best of what mammals and people can do’: Hyundai’s Elevate has spectacular options at first sight. A concept of the ‘walking car’, a robot vehicle that can climb, drive and take giant steps, was launched at the electronics fair CES in Las Vegas. The car with robot legs turned out immediately

“The Elevate can bring people to places where there has never been a car before,” says David Byron, design manager at Sundberg-Ferar, the company that, together with Hyundai, is responsible for the baptism of the Elevate. The makers expect, among other things, much of their electrically driven discovery in rescue operations. Hyundai itself speaks of an Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV), a vehicle that can handle any terrain. That would be a solution for emergency services after natural disasters.

In Elevate technology comes from electric vehicles and robots, according to the South Korean manufacturer. As a result, the vehicle can also travel in extremely difficult accessible terrain. For people with a disability and taxi services, the Elevate can also offer a solution, that’s the expectation. A person with a wheelchair can call the Elevate and then simply go inside because the vehicle can adjust to the correct height.

The main advantage of the vehicle are the five movable robot legs, each with a wheel. These legs can make giant steps of one and a half meters, for example over a wall or chunks of debris. To drive, the legs fold.

According to Hyundai, the Elevate must also be able to run on the highway. The basis of the colossus is an EV platform. Depending on the task, different bodies can be placed on that platform. Sundberg-Ferar and Hyundai have been working together for three years at the Elevate Concept. Whether the production is ever transferred is still the question. Some car journalists temper the enthusiasm and ask questions about the feasibility of the project.

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