It’s still at prototype stage, but the Elevate shows that car designers are thinking on their feet.
This ‘quadrupedal’ vehicle may look like a smart shopping trolley ready for a supermarket dash in some distant interstellar community. But, in fact, it’s a full-size, robotic walking car, which Hyundai believes may be helpful in rescue zones when normal vehicles, even the most robust 4x4s, just can’t hack it.
It’s called the ‘Elevate’ and by blending technology found in modern electric cars with advanced robotics, it can climb up 5ft walls, straddle a 5ft hole and step across piles of debris, thanks to the addition of four fully articulated robotic legs – and all the while keeping its passengers completely level.
The idea is that the Elevate could be driven by first responders to a disaster location, just like a traditional electric car, but then when the terrain became impassable it could use its highly dexterous legs to move in any direction. It can walk at 3mph and the legs are powered by the same battery that drives the car’s motor.
The concept was unveiled by Hyundai in Las Vegas last week alongside a clever electric car that will be able to autonomously drive to an empty parking space, charge itself up and then return to your house, ready for the next journey.
Take a look in this video :