The crazy robots of Star Wars are much closer to reality than you might think, with Hyundai’s new plan to build 4x4s with robotic legs.
What Hyundai wants to build is essentially a go-anywhere vehicle that really can go anywhere and we reckon it looks a bit like an AT-AT walker from Star Wars.
The plan is that these off-roaders will have robotic legs that will allow them to climb up things a normal car couldn’t and to get across terrain a Jeep wouldn’t dare go near.
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Each vehicle will essentially have four electrically driven wheels, each mounted on articulating legs.
These robotic vehicles are set to be built at the company’s $20 million New Horizons Studio, which will employ about 50 people.
Located in Montana State University’s Innovation Campus in Bozeman, it is said to be “a unit focused on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles”.
The powerful robotic legs can then bend or swivel at the hip, bend again at the knee and ankle, and fully rotate the wheels before they touch down as well.
Like a Range Rover’s suspension system, these Hyundai vehicles will be capable of lifting or lowering themselves to step over things.
The first creation will be the TIGER which is a small go-anywhere vehicle that could prove useful in rural logistics, construction, mining and even space-based operations.
The second will be a two-seater version that Hyundai sees as being a disaster relief machine for getting into devastated areas to save those in trouble.
What makes Montana the perfect location for this factory is its mountainous surroundings which are perfect to test the vehicle’s off-road capabilities
Work will begin on the new building next month, with an R&D office opening in the Innovation Campus next month too.