Hyundai stunned everyone when it unveiled its bizarre walking robo-car, the'Elevate. Do you remember her? A vehicle with four wheels mounted on as many articulated legs, with the ability to roll, climb, walk like a mammal (or a spider) on all possible terrains.
We all thought it was a mere marketing operation, until Hyundai announced the creation of a new division, New Horizon Studios, focused on producing real Transformers vehicles. "Crossroads" between various sectors: robotics, aeronautics, automotive and AI. New Horizons today provided details on its next project. It is called TIGER, or "Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot", which leverages the platform behind Elevate and re-proposes it for remote or autonomous missions.
Transformers, but seriously
TIGER adapts Elevate's frame for unmanned missions, with a lightweight, carbon composite construction designed to be 3D printed. The second of Hyundai's designed transformers keeps the four wheels on robotic "legs", each offering six degrees of freedom of movement. It is a vehicle that has practically a hip, a knee and an ankle. A complete locomotion system, with a suite of sensors and an on-board computer to act as the "brain".
Instead of the cockpit, a platform that can accommodate different modules. This "thing with legs" can travel a load module, a rescue module or a "torso" equipped with robotic arms.
Tiger, self-propelled and scalable vehicles
Hyundai can build these TIGER transformers of virtually any size. They can fulfill a mission plan or an indefinite cargo goal. It can clip them to an eVTOL drone that transports them to the safe landing site closest to where they are needed, and they can walk (yes, walk) on virtually any terrain. And it is no coincidence that Hyundai has also launched a division for urban air mobility.
In other words, TIGER is a means of getting things from A to B, whatever they are and whatever the terrain. Where will it be used? This is a question that can only be answered in the imagination, and I believe this amazing walking robotic machine will find its place.