Hyundai demos unmanned transport study

February 10, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Hyundai demos unmanned transport study
For use in rough terrain, Huyundai's in-house research laboratory New Horizons Studio in Mountain View, California, has developed a robotic vehicle that features high flexibility in configuration and deployment options. Essential components are made with 3D printing techniques (see video).

The highly versatile and intelligent ground excursion robot TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot) is Hyundai's second "Ultimate Mobility Vehicle" (UMV) and the first unmanned one. The vehicle is designed to carry payloads of various types over rough terrain.

The TIGER is modular and includes, among other things, a sophisticated locomotion system with retractable "legs" and wheels, 360-degree steering, numerous sensors and communication channels for remote monitoring. Combined use with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) is also envisaged, which can fully charge TIGER and take it to inaccessible locations.

In its cargo space, TIGER can transport goods - one of the scenarios of TIGER's developers is the delivery of relief supplies in emergency situations. The mobility of its legs and wheels enable it to cope with extreme situations in inhospitable terrain while keeping the transported goods in a secured position compared to a conventional ground vehicle.

When its legs are retracted, TIGER drives like a four-wheel drive vehicle and operates most efficiently as it moves - like a normal wheeled vehicle - by the rotational force of its four wheels. However, when it gets stuck or has to negotiate terrain that is barely passable or not passable at all in this way, the robot uses its walking ability to move forward - a feature that TIGER's predecessor Elevate already had, which was unveiled at CES 2019. Unlike Elevate, however, TIGER is unmanned.

In the TIGER project, the vehicle's creators brought together diverse technology and design approaches. The first version of TIGER, which has now been unveiled, bears the suffix X-1, where the "X" stands for experimental. The vehicle combines the generative design of development partner Autodesk with Hyundai Motor Group's research and development expertise in mobility. The teams worked together to design a lightweight yet extremely strong structure. The legs and some chassis elements were 3D printed from carbon fibre composites.


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