The rest of the Boston Dynamics family might get all the attention, but Hyundai has a robotics division separate from the company. This week, the automaker unveiled the Mobile Eccentric Droid, or MobED, a new mobility platform for handling the toughest surfaces and uneven ground.
The company’s robotics lab says it developed MobED to overcome the limitations of indoor and service robotics. Each of the robot’s wheels features independent power and steering control systems that allow it to spin in place and move in any direction. It also has an eccentric drive system, hence the name, which allows it to independently adjust the height of each of its wheels. As you can see from the video, this means that it can provide a stable platform for something as delicate as glass.
MobED can expand its wheelbase up to about 25 inches when you need the most stability possible. It can also shrink to about 17 inches when it finds itself in more complex environments. Finally, the platform measures 26 inches long, 23 inches wide and 13 inches tall. The 2 kWh battery allows the robot to drive for about four hours on a single charge.
Outside of serving as a service bot, Hyundai envisions MobED helping places like the movie industry where movie crews can install their equipment on the stand. It can also be used for deliveries and other purposes for which stability is necessary. We’ll get a chance to see more of the robot when Hyundai shows it at CES 2022 next month. However, the company has not said if it plans to commercialize MobED.
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