Hyundai has launched MobED, a new mobility platform that “overcomes the constraints of existing interior guide and service robots,” only days after acquiring Boston Dynamics.
The Mobile Eccentric Droid (ModED) is a flat, rectangular-bodied vehicle with independent suspension and 12-inch pneumatic tires that rides on four enormous wheels. The wheels can all rotate independently, and the body may tilt in all four directions. The end product, as shown in the video below, is a small, agile robot capable of hauling heavy cargo through a variety of terrain types and obstacles.
“We designed the MobED platform to overcome the limits of existing indoor guide and service robots while enhancing its usability in cities by greatly boosting the platform’s overall mobility,” says Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab. So, in addition to serving indoors, MobED appears to have the potential to become an autonomous delivery robot in the future.
The “Eccentric Wheel” drive system is Hyundai’s term for the combination of steering, braking, and altitude controls. It allows for enhanced stabilization by allowing in-place rotation, omnidirectional movement, and posture control. ModED can drive at speeds of up to 30 km/h and has a four-hour battery life when powered by a 2kWh battery.
Although the robot’s availability and cost have yet to be confirmed, Hyundai will showcase it at CES 2022 next month.