Hyundai reveals Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED), a four-wheeled modular robot

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Hyundai has been making significant strides in the areas of robotics, leading it to the eventual acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an American engineering and robotics design company. Now, Hyundai has revealed what could be the product of the company’s efforts in developing such technologies.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is the Hyundai MobED?

    The Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED) is a four-wheeled robot that offers a stable platform for a wide variety of applications.
  • In what ways can Hyundai customers expect to use the MobED?

    As an example, Hyundai cited that the MobED can be used as a mobility device for the elderly or the disabled, or a stroller or leisure vehicle for children.
  • Dubbed the Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED), Hyundai’s all-new and pioneering small mobility platform makes use of today’s cutting-edge robotics technologies and is slated to offer a wide variety of applications.

    “We have developed the MobED platform to overcome the limitations of existing indoor guide and service robots while maximizing its usability in cities by dramatically improving the platform’s overall mobility. We are also looking ahead to assess how potential users of MobED will further expand their needs and use for this type of technology,” said Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab Head, Dong Jin Hyun.

    The MobED features a flat, rectangular body that rides on four large wheels. It’s equipped with independent suspension that enable optimal body posture and stable movement even on inclined and uneven roads. Hyundai says that this suspension allows the platform to move through complex urban environments by freely adjusting its wheelbase and steering angles.

    Here’s a picture of the MobED balancing champagne glasses on an inclined platform, to show just how stable it is. Kind of reminds us of the Lexus commercial back in 1989 (later remade in 2020).

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    In addition, Hyundai says that the MobED is fitted with innovative technologies including an advanced “eccentric wheel”’ drive and high-tech steering as well as braking and altitude control systems, allowing the MobED to realize optimum posture on various road surfaces and environments.

    The three motors mounted to each wheel provide power and precise steering to the wheels while also controlling the overall posture of the body. The wheels are also capable of omnidirectional movement allowing the MobED to move even in tight and narrow spaces.

    An eccentric mechanism-based posture control system also helps the MobED adjust its height to adapt to various ground environments. Its 12-inch pneumatic tires further help to absorb bumps and vibrations.

    In terms of speed, the robot is said to reach a maximum speed of 30kph. Its 2kWh battery allows for around four hours of driving on a single charge.

    Because of its ability to operate in a wide variety of terrains and platforms, the Hyundai MobED can be used for various applications, depending on the mounted device.

    As an example, the MobED can be used as a mobility device, somewhat similar to Toyota's three-wheeled BEV. It can be used as a personal transport rig for the elderly or the disabled, or as a stroller or leisure vehicle for your tiny tots. 

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    The Hyundai MobED is scheduled to appear at CES 2022 where Hyundai will present its future vision with robotics. The said motoring event will run from January 5 to 8, 2022.

    Photos from Hyundai

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