Hyundai’s latest vehicle is none other than a walking car robot. The motor group unveiled the first look at its new unmanned TIGER vehicle this week which is designed to carry payloads through remote and inaccessible areas.
TIGER stands for Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot. Which I’m definitely interpreting as the world’s first Transformer.
According to Hyundai, the TIGER X-1 robot is based on modular platform architecture. It’s equipped with a leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional control and sensors for remote observation.
The robot weighs no more than 12 kgs and is approximately 78cm long. When compacted it comes in at only 40cm wide.
TIGER can retract its legs and drive like a regular vehicle, but when the going gets tough, it can use its walking ability to overcome obstacles. The vehicle is designed to eventually connect with unmanned aerial vehicles which will charge and deliver the TIGER to difficult locations.
The concept has been a collaboration between Hyundai’s New Horizon Studios and the design team at Sundberg-Ferar.
“TIGER is a modular platform design allowing different bodies to be attached to the chassis for unique applications such as cargo delivery or surveillance in locations not suitable for humans,” said David Byron, Sundberg-Ferar’s Manager of Design and Innovation Strategy.
So, naturally, the idea of sending the vehicle to the moon or another planet was also floated.
This isn’t Hyundai’s first walking car
Hyundai pointed out comparisons between its newly announced TIGER and its other Ultimate Mobility Vehicle, the Elevate. Yes, Hyundai has two cars that can walk.
The Elevate car concept is intended to carry human passengers through difficult terrain. So, like the TIGER but bigger.
Hyundai hopes one of its uses will be to help first responders in reaching treacherous accident sites. Which is great and everything but all I’m hearing is that Transformers might be real soon.
This walking car robot shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise from the company who recently purchased Boston Dynamics. That’s the company that makes those terrifying robot Spot dogs, so walking cars are likely just the beginning.