Hyundai has revealed its new “uncrewed ultimate mobility vehicle”, or UMV for short, and it’s definitely got legs. Literally. The vehicle, which is being developed by Hyundai’s New Horizon studio, is called the Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot. For brevity, it’s called TIGER.
A video showcasing the autonomous vehicle, based on its Cradle walking car concept, was released on Hyundai Motor Group’s YouTube channel, to show off what the vehicle does with its limbs. Now, this thing is no AT-AT, but it would probably manage fine on Hoth, because it’s built for rough environments. Including the moon, or other planets. That’s right, TIGER might one day be a rover.
Much smaller than a car, Hyundai’s “scientific exploration platform” can traverse even the most rugged terrain. The vehicle is kitted out with omnidirectional wheels and extendable legs, each boasting six points of articulation. This gives it the ability to navigate around and over obstructions with relative ease, twisting, turning, and tip-toeing its way about.
The body of the vehicle holds a large load bay that can be used to hold a variety of goods, such as scientific equipment or emergency aid packages. The extendable legs make sure that the body is as stable as possible, ensuring the preservation of its contents and making it perfect for tackling challenging situations and terrain conditions. When its not walking around like something out of a sci-fi flick, the TIGER retracts its legs and rolls around with all-wheel drive, cruising through areas that don’t require legwork.
Hyundai’s shooting for the stars
In the video Hyundai expounds on several ideas they had for potential TIGER missions and how they would operate. Due to its size, Hyundai explained that the TIGER could connect to an aerial vehicle, like a quad-copter or drone of some kind, and be whisked off to an otherwise inaccessible location. Further, Hyundai even imagined that the TIGER might one day make it all the way to the moon and complete missions there.
While it’s still small now, the TIGER looks awesome, and it’s exciting to think of how it, and retractable leg technology, might make its way into other vehicles in the future. “Vehicles like TIGER, and the technologies underpinning it, give us an opportunity to push our imaginations.” says head of New Horizons Studio Dr. John Suh. “We are constantly looking at ways to rethink vehicle design and development and re-define the future of transportation and mobility.”