The Kia Tiger is a robot for transporting demanding terrain

The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), whose automotive part consists of Hyundai, Kia and Genesis, has unveiled the TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot) concept, which is their second ultimate mobile vehicle (UMV) and first unmanned. The transforming intelligent walking robot is intended for transporting different types of cargo on demanding terrains.

New Horizons Studio is developing technologies for innovative vehicle platforms

TIGER was developed by the group’s company, New Horizons Studio, which is headquartered in Mountain View, California. The studio, founded in late 2020 with the goal of developing UMVs, wants to become a leader in Silicon Valley in research and innovation. “A vehicle like TIGER and the technologies behind it give us the opportunity to push the boundaries of our imagination,” said Dr. John Suh, studio leader. “We are constantly looking for new ways to design vehicles and transport and mobility concepts in the near future.”

TIGER for transporting loads to distant and inaccessible areas – acts with 4-wheel drive or as a 4-foot walking machine

The exceptional capabilities of the “tiger” are intended to act as a mobile scientific research platform in inaccessible areas. The vehicle built on a modular platform includes highly movable legs and a system for moving the wheels, turning 360 degrees and various sensors for remote monitoring. The tiger can also be connected to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that can charge it and transport it to inaccessible terrain.

The bulky cargo disposal section allows the Tiger to transport goods for delivery, and can also deliver emergency assistance packages. Wheels that move in several directions make it possible to overcome various extreme situations. The Tiger with its cargo capabilities offers more than a typical off-road vehicle. With its legs spread, it rides like a 4-wheel drive vehicle, when it is most efficient due to rolling motion. When a vehicle is stuck or has to move on more demanding terrain, difficult or impassable only with wheels, then its ability to walk thanks to the feet comes to the fore. In 2019, the HMG Group presented the Elevate concept, its first ultimate mobile vehicle with movable legs, at the CES consumer electronics fair. The Tiger with the Elevate concept shares similar characteristics such as legs and wheels – the difference is that the former is intended for passenger transport while the Tiger is unmanned.

Kia TigerThe first variant developed in Silicon Valley, in cooperation with global partners

The first variant of the Tiger is the X-1 (X from “experimental”) and brings a variety of technological and design knowledge. The project was led by New Horizons Studio with the help of Autodesk, a leading company in the field of engineering software design.

“Working on the TIGER X-1 with the use of advanced technology such as generative design pushes the boundaries and reduces transport weight. That’s exactly what we mean when we talk about creating the new possible, ”said Srinat Jonalagada, vice president of business strategy for design and development at Autodesk. “The new design, engineering and fabrication techniques provided by Autodesk Fusion 360 are helping modern, collaborative teams today to start production as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The TIGER X-1 combines Autodesk’s generative design with HMG’s knowledge of mobility research and development. Together, the teams created a light but incredibly solid structure in which they used carbon fibers for additive (3D) printing to make the legs and some parts of the chassis. New Horizons Studio, in collaboration with designers from Sundberg-Ferrar, has developed the TIGER X-1 for critical load delivery in demanding terrain. The capabilities of the concept vehicle are ideal for 360-degree viewing of the surface, e.g. in areas of natural disaster where rescuers face challenging terrain or may even explore a surface on other planets.

Kia Tiger

“We wanted to make a robot with maximum wheel efficiency that could expand transport capabilities to inaccessible areas,” said David Byron, who is in charge of design and innovation at Sundberg-Ferrara. “TIGER is a modular platform that allows the use of different bodies on the chassis, with different purposes of use, such as e.g. delivery of cargo or observation in locations that are not suitable for people. “

New Horizons Studio, located in Mountain View, California, is developing unprecedented vehicles. These are vehicles for users who travel on unusual and difficult to access terrains that are difficult to reach with ordinary vehicles. The UMVs developed by this studio are designed for demanding use and environments and can be adapted to different conditions. New Horizons Studio focuses on the development of technologies that enable concept vehicles such as e.g. TIGER. These technologies include wheelbase, high-capacity materials and structures, high-capacity electrical systems, chassis and bodywork, virtual development and grading systems, human-centered design and the like. All of this represents a tangible technical advancement that can be used for any vehicle and will accelerate the development of advanced mobility services.

Kia Tiger

The aforementioned studio strengthens Kia’s vision to create the future of mobility and brings advanced thinking, innovative leadership characteristic of Silicon Valley and other innovative incubators. Concept ultimate unmanned mobile vehicles and their development are not only based on wheels, because they are designed for different situations – a vehicle with robotic legs, for example, can help first at the scene of an accident in case of natural disasters, or help people who need access would raise or lower the vehicle and then allow the use of a wheelchair.

Vehicles such as the Elevate, TIGER and the like, with a combination of robotics and wheel-shifting technology, developed by New Horizons Studio and Kia, are expected to redefine mobility.

Source: Auto magazin by

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