Walking in the footsteps of Elevate – Hyundai’s Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) shown-off at CES 2019, is the all-new TIGER that the Hyundai Motor Group revealed today. A logical progression in the development of the walking car robot dream that Hyundai has been chasing for quite some time, the TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot) concept is developing under the freshly formed New Horizons Studio in collaboration with Autodesk and Sundberg-Ferar. This will be the company’s first unmanned Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) with the 360-degree directional control, designed typically to carry payload on challenging terrain in remote locations.
As Dr. John Suh, Head of New Horizons Studio, aptly put forward, the group’s vision to design automated vehicles like TIGER and the associated technologies to push the envelope of imaginations for future UMV’s. He said, “We are constantly looking at ways to rethink vehicle design and development and re-define the future of transportation and mobility.” The vehicle’s size and total weight are kept to the minimum courtesy of the carbon fiber composite additive printing – making it possible to transport TIGER to remote locations via unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) for exploration or delivering emergency payload for rescue missions. Taking the capabilities of any off-road vehicle to the next level, TIGER can transform its locomotion from wheeled mobility to walking abilities instantly. Hyundai Motor Group calls it the Leg-wheel articulation that enables it to deliver payload in inhospitable terrain safely. For the most part, TIGER uses an all-wheel-drive mechanism to get over the landscape, and when things get too tricky for its wheels, it’s time to get walking.
The first prototype version of the TIGER will be X-1 (‘X’ for experimental) – honing strong legs and chassis thanks to the advanced generative design capabilities. Not only will the UMV be ideal for rescue missions and payload delivery, but it will also be perfect for 360-degree surface evaluation for other planetary exploration missions – the likes of the Moon mission or the ongoing Mars missions. As per David Byron, Manager of Design and Innovation Strategy at Sundberg-Ferar. “TIGER is a modular platform design allowing different bodies to be attached to the chassis for unique applications such as cargo delivery or surveillance in locations not suitable for humans.”
While Elevate is designed to carry passengers, this one solely targets unscrewed missions with its compact form factor. Now that Hyundai Motor Group has acquired Boston Dynamics, this robotic powerhouse’s characteristics may well come into play for bringing the two walking robots to life. In a way, it looks like the evolved cousin of Spot the dog robot already. We can expect the TIGER X-1 to take shape in the next couple of years, and a buyable version is expected at least five years from now. After all, designing a vehicle like this is no child’s play!
Designer: Hyundai Motor Group
COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over and social distancing is pretty much the health protocol to be followed. In wake of this new normal and need to enhance the user experience in showrooms, Hyundai Motor Group has built the DAL-e an AI-powered robot, that’s an acronym for “Drive you, Assist you, Link with you-experience.” The four-foot-tall robot boasts facial recognition technology, omnidirectional movement, and an advanced communication system with language comprehension to interact with customers in a way that’s welcoming and intuitive. If you also believe it looks so similar to the loner WALL-E robot, then you’re not alone – it does look inspired by the cute robot and the name also seems eerily similar.
To kick-off things, DAL-e debuted yesterday in Hyundai Motor Showroom in southern Seoul for a pilot run, post which, the AI robot will be employed in more Hyundai and Kia showrooms if it all goes as planned and the robot keep learning the tricks of the trade, so to speak. For now, the cute robot escorts the customers to the intended spots and its facial recognition tech enables it to recognize a customer not wearing a mask, and advise them to wear one. The combination of the emotive physical features and the prompt dialogue delivery makes DAL-e a very welcoming assistant for people who visit the showroom. As the intelligent robot guides you through the showroom thanks to its omnidirectional movement capability, you can also get more insight about the products from the touchscreen display on top of its head. The robot can also wirelessly connect to the large display at the showroom to display detailed information about the products. It can even move its arms to emphasize a point or make welcoming gestures. To add to the human element DAL-e has quite a few tricks up its sleeve. For example, it can even ask visitors to take selfies with it.
According to Dong Jin Hyun, Vice President and Head of the Robotics Lab at Hyundai Motor Group, DAL-e will “provide fresh, pleasant experiences to our valued customers in a contact-free environment,” with the software updates and AI learning algorithm. “Our objective is to enable the DAL-e to engage in a smooth and entertaining communication with customers and present valuable services to them.” To this end, the AI robot seems like a valued proposition to enhance the whole experience of buying a car.