South Korean company Hyundai has created a robotTiger X-1, which in the future can be used to deliver parcels even to the most inaccessible places. He overcomes smooth roads on wheels, like courier robots from Amazon and Yandex. But if there is an obstacle on the way, he rises to his feet and steps over them. The upper part of the work can be easily replaced if necessary. That is, the robot can carry a refrigerator with food, a container of medicine, or even become a landing station for a small aircraft. If you look at the photograph of the robot, the structure may seem very familiar to you. The fact is that a couple of years ago, Hyundai already showed something similar - the Elevate rescue vehicle with four legs. In fact, the Tiger X-1 robot is a scaled-down version of this vehicle. But it is much more useful, so it is more likely to go on sale. I will explain why.
Courier robot from Hyundai
The Elevate rescue vehicle was firstshown at the technology exhibition CES 2019. I wrote about it in this material and mentioned that the development of an unusual vehicle was carried out in cooperation with the studio Detroit Sundberg-Ferar and it took at least two years. Each leg of the Elevate car is equipped with wheels that are used when driving on normal roads. And in difficult terrain, with a lot of stones, the car can stand up and simply step over them. The developers reported that if necessary, the Elevate can rise to a height of up to 1.5 meters. It was expected that the car could be useful in rescue operations and also be used as a vehicle for disabled people. Yes, you can get into this car and drive it.
The Elevate car was just a concepttherefore it was not taken seriously. But Hyundai's intentions turned out to be quite serious. To develop devices like a rescue vehicle, she opened New Horizons Studio. The new Tiger X-1 robot is the work of the studio's employees. Unlike a car, it is less bulky and can be controlled remotely. The body is made of composite material, which means it is lightweight and is 3D printed. The four legs are also equipped with wheels and can move in different directions. In general, this is almost a complete copy of the Elevate car, only you cannot sit inside it.
Hyundai is seriously interested in robots. She recently bought Boston Dynamics. But for what?
Delivery service of the future
Elevate car is unlikely to go into productionproduction and will be used in rescue missions. But the Tiger X-1 robot may well go on sale and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, this is not such a futuristic technique as Elevate - Amazon, Yandex and other companies have similar courier robots. The Hyundai device differs only in the presence of two legs with wheels. Secondly, they want to use the robot as a courier, which is a very popular service today. You can already imagine how he walks through the suburban streets with unevenness and delivers food and medicine to local residents.
Also, the Tiger X-1 robot is more believable becausethat he has a real prototype. Play the video below and rewind for the third minute. The developers have already assembled it and the robot moves freely around the laboratory, simultaneously overcoming obstacles of varying complexity. And we never saw the finished prototype of the Elevate car, and it is unlikely that we will ever receive such an honor. The video also shows how a robot can move through the air using a drone. There will definitely be work for him, if only there is enough imagination.
Tiger X-1 robot presentation
Now imagine the near future.Some family from the village is unable to go to the city and buy food and medicine there. Fortunately, there is an online store where you can order all this. And the delivery will be handled by the aforementioned Tiger X-1 robot. To quickly reach the village, he flies a quadcopter. Then he uses his wheels and legs to get to the desired house. And it is not a fact that such delivery will be expensive. After all, the courier is not a person, but robots printed on a 3D printer. Sounds like fantasy, but very real.
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But will the Hyundai Tiger X-1 robot go on sale,it is not yet known exactly. But the owners of the companies can buy the Spot robot from Boston Dynamics. It has recently been updated and learned to monitor the performance of various sensors, as well as perform many other human jobs. You can read about all the changes and watch an interesting video at this link.