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In the aftermath of natural disaster, the accessibility to survivors is often problematic. A new car concept vehicle has been recently unveiled by car maker Hyundai, offering a solution that could transform the way rescue teams operate in disaster zones.
The Elevate solution blends the technology found in electric cars with that found in robots to help it cover terrain beyond the limitations of even the most capable off-road vehicle. The platform can be driven by first responders to a location like a traditional electric car. But when the terrain gets tough, it can use its “highly dexterous” robotic legs to move in any direction.
It can climb walls, step over a 5ft gap, walk at 3mph over tricky terrain, all while keeping its body and passengers completely level.
The legs which can “walk” also fold up into a stowed drive-mode, where power to the joints is cut, and the use of an integrated passive suspension system maximises battery efficiency.
According to Hyundai, disabled people who do not have access to a ramp outside their home could hail an Elevate taxi that could walk up to their front door, level itself, and allow their wheelchair to roll in.
The development is part of Hyundai’s “Centre for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences” (Cradle), which aims to enhance transportation on and off the road.
The platform has been dubbed the world’s first “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle”, and the company said that it “will redefine the boundaries and perceptions of vehicular mobility.”
The manufacturer is also unveiling an electric concept car which can autonomously drive to an empty parking space to be charged up, according to independent.co.uk.