Hyundai Motor Group, which is prioritizing robotics as part of its future growth drive, has unveiled a four-legged all-terrain robotic run-and-walk-about called the TIGER.
The uncrewed sci-fi-looking concept is designed to carry payloads into extreme, remote locations where humans are hard-pressed to enter. In unveiling the TIGER, the South Korean automaker said Tuesday that it could be used in scientific exploration or disaster relief.
The TIGER, which stands for Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot, builds on the Elevate concept shown at the 2019 CES. The Elevate is a four-legged "walking car" that has room for riders in its boxlike cabin.
The TIGER also has a leg-and-wheel propulsion system, with 360-degree directional control. But it is designed to carry cargo, not people. With its legs retracted, the TIGER moves as an all-wheel-drive vehicle. But when the going gets tough, the TIGER can stretch out its legs to step over rough terrain.
The machine was developed by Hyundai Motor Group's New Horizons Studio in Mountain View, Calif. The studio was set up in 2020 to develop what the carmaker calls ultimate mobility vehicles. Hyundai got an assist on the software side from a partner called Autodesk.
Hyundai calls the first iteration of the concept vehicle the TIGER X-1.
Hyundai Motor Group is prioritizing robotics and artificial intelligence as part of its plan to diversify into new businesses that are key to next-generation mobility.
Underscoring its interest in robotics, the group in December took a controlling 80 percent stake in the U.S. robotics firm Boston Dynamics.
Among the new target areas are urban air mobility and purpose-built vehicles.
To pursue such projects, the vehicle conglomerate established tech hubs under the umbrella of Hyundai CRADLE, or the Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences. It has centers for this kind of development in California's Silicon Valley; Seoul; Tel Aviv, Israel; Berlin; and Beijing.