a robot that switches between wheels and legs as needed

In January 2019 the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai showed for the first time to the world its vehicle with four legs. A peculiar vehicle, it had walking legs instead of wheels. At that time it was just an idea, although now it is coming to life with a new concept much more adjusted to what could be reality.

TIGER is the name that Hyundai has decided to give this vehicle, it is the acronym for “Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot” in English, that is, a robot that intelligently transforms itself according to the ground on which it is located. The vehicle itself is relatively small and does not allow for passenger transport, so it is rather an autonomous robot to move across different surfaces.

Wheels or legs, depending on the circumstances

The TIGER robot has been designed with the idea in mind to use it in environments where humans cannot reach or are dangerous do it (like Spot en Chernobyl). For example as a vehicle for exploration or assistance in emergencies. It is somewhat an idea similar to that of Spot from Boston Dynamics, which precisely now belongs to Hyundai.

So that, TIGER walks like an ordinary four-legged robot and imitating animals that have four legs. Articulated legs allow you to go up or down stairs as well as avoid obstacles. What characterizes it is the tip of these joints, where it has wheels. On relatively flat terrain the TIGER picks up its legs (as if kneeling) and begins to use the wheels to roll and move faster.

further the vehicle can be attached to a drone and thus be deployed or picked up from remote areas more quickly. Hyundai however has not given many specifics details such as range, speed or load capacities. Not in vain, and the fact is that TIGER at the moment is just a concept and not a final product. Far for example from what dance like Boston Dynamics robots.

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If it ends up being a real product, it will be interesting to see what its traction is with wheels on the ends instead of traditional legs. What is clear is that it is an off-road vehicle, in all respects. We will see if now with the acquisition of Boston Dynamics from Hyundai they bet even more on this sector of robotics.

Via | Autoblog


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