South Korean auto major Hyundai has unveiled a four-legged walking car – Elevate – at Consumer Electronics Show 2019. The concept of Hyundai Elevate is based on a modular EV platform with the capability to switch out different bodies for specific situations. The robotic leg architecture has five degrees of freedom plus wheel hub propulsion motorsand is enabled by the latest in electric actuator technology. This design is uniquely capable of both mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, allowing it to move in any direction.
The legs also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximizes battery efficiency. This allows Elevate to drive at highway speeds just like any other vehicle. But no other can climb a five foot wall, step over a five foot gap, walk over diverse terrain, and achieve a 15 foot wide track width, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level. Further, the combination of wheeled motion with articulating legs provides a new paradigm of mobility by enabling faster walking speeds, unique dynamic driving postures and torsional control at the end of each leg.