Who wants an Apple automotive if you’ve acquired one with 4 legs? Hyundai, which just lately acquired a controlling stake in robot maker Boston Dynamics, rolled out the most recent model of its four-legged “strolling automotive” idea that it first unveiled in 2019.
Hyundai is asking it TIGER, which stands for “Reworking Clever Floor Tour Robotic.” It’s the second automobile to return out of the automaker’s Final Mobility Autos studio in Silicon Valley, and the primary designed to be absolutely autonomous. It’s like a real-life Transformer, simply with out the “bent on world domination” vibe.
Actually, Hyundai truly thinks its four-legged automobiles have the potential to make the world a greater place. The automobiles are designed particularly to entry distant places for missions associated to scientific exploration, or to ship meals or medical provides to catastrophe zones.
However how does it work? TIGER has 4 “legs,” every with a collection of joints, enabling the automobile to imitate each mammalian and reptilian strolling gaits. In response to Hyundai:
Based mostly on a modular platform structure, its options embrace a complicated leg and wheel locomotion system, 360-degree directional management, and a spread of sensors for distant remark. It’s also supposed to connect with unmanned aerial automobiles (UAVs), which may absolutely cost and ship TIGER to inaccessible places…
With its legs retracted, TIGER drives like an all-wheel drive automobile and is in its best mode as a result of it strikes by rolling traction. However when the automobile will get caught or must journey over terrain that’s troublesome or impassable for wheels alone, it makes use of its strolling capability to get unstuck or extra simply journey over that terrain.
For those who’re getting a robust Mars Rover vibe off this factor, that’s on function: Hyundai thinks the expertise underpinning this automobile might make it ripe for an interplanetary mission. The strolling automotive can traverse uneven terrain, climb a wall, step over a niche, and unfold its legs to a 15-foot-wide observe width — all whereas maintaining its principal cabin (and cargo) stage. When not within the discipline, the automobile’s legs are stowed beneath and could be pushed like a traditional off-roading automobile.
The primary four-legged idea, called Elevate, was designed to hold passengers, whereas TIGER is supposed to be utterly uncrewed — no driver and no passengers. And whereas they might share some traits with Boston Dynamics’ robotic canine, Spot, neither idea was designed with any enter from the newly acquired robotics agency.
Hyundai was in consideration as a producing companion for Apple, which is planning on launching its personal electrical automobile. Nonetheless, these talks broke down just lately and Hyundai and its subsidiary Kia have sought to downplay rumors it was working with the tech large.