Hyundai’s TIGER (Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot) may be the future of unmanned exploration and rescue.
The TIGER concept is more than a remote-controlled, unmanned vehicle, it’s a high-tech transforming vehicle that can go almost anywhere. I mean anywhere. Think of the various semi-autonomous rovers we have scattered on Mars. Rovers have to use wheels or treads to get over obstacles. Sure, some of them have slick systems that can work with the suspension system to push/pull them over obstacles – but TIGER is different.
Hyundai’s TIGER is intended to carry payloads over remote and inaccessible terrain.
TIGER is being developed by Hyundai Motor Group’s New Horizons Studio; which is headquartered in Mountain View, California. The studio was established in late 2020 to develop UMVs (Ultimate Mobility Vehicle) drawing on research and innovation leadership from Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs.
Check out Hyundai’s previous “walking car” concept (here).
Simply put, TIGER can roll along efficiently using its wheels on many surfaces. If it encounters a major obstacle, one that it simply cannot overcome with its wheels – it grows legs. Yep – it’s like Transformers-lite. Curled up above each wheel is a series of mechanical joints that, when extended, become legs. Basically, it turns a wheeled rover into a robotic dog.
“While developing TIGER with New Horizons Studio, the team at Sundberg-Ferar was looking to create a robot that maximized the efficiency of wheeled motion with the articulation of a quadruped to expand the possibility of reaching more remote locations. 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.”David Byron, Manager of Design and Innovation Strategy at Sundberg-Ferar.
What about Boston Dynamics?
Remember the awesome, yet terrifying bi-pedal creations at Boston Dynamics? Remember their dog-like robot Spot? Well, Hyundai officially purchased a controlling stake in robot maker from SoftBank in a deal that values the company at $1.1-bilion dollars. Yet, despite acquiring this amazing robotic company – there was no mention of it in the TIGER press release.
Maybe TIGER and Spot can get together and…
My point is: Hyundai is definitely looking at robotics for the use in future mobility – of some sort.
“Working closely with the team at Hyundai on the TIGER X-1 vehicle, using advanced technology such as generative design to push the boundaries of increasing strength while reducing weight in transportation, is exactly what we mean when we talk about creating the new possible,” said Srinath Jonnalagadda, Vice President of Business Strategy for Design and Manufacturing at Autodesk. “New design, engineering, and manufacturing techniques enabled by Autodesk Fusion 360 help today’s modern, collaborative teams get to production faster and more efficiently.”
Will we have transforming vehicles that can walk over difficult obstacles? Man, I hope so! Imagine modifying that bad boy!
Check out the video below for the whole picture.