With the pressures of life at the moment it’s hard not to think about getting away from it all – so how about the moon?
With talk of a renewed interest in travelling to the moon and the European Space Agency (ESA) currently recruiting for new astronauts, the recent sad death of Bruce Blackburn, the designer of the timeless NASA ‘worm’ logo and the Neil Armstrong biopic, First Man, now streaming on Netflix (starring Ryan Gosling), Hyundai seem to have timed the reveal of their 4-legged 4×4 off-roader perfectly. You see; it’s designed to be capable of traversing extreme terrains on the moon…
The Hyundai Tiger X-1 is not only an extreme 4×4 concept vehicle; it is also one that gains extra ground clearance by sitting on robotic adjustable legs. With that in mind, the X-1 would also be suited to more earthly pursuits, like being a first responder during natural disasters where standard vehicle access was not possible.
The ‘Experimental 1’ is one of the first vehicles to emerge from Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio, which was announced in autumn last year to focus on Ultimate Mobility Vehicles (UMVs) capable of offering unprecedented rough terrain mobility. The Silicon Valley-based company aims to use a combination of robotics and ever-developing vehicle wheel movement technology to produce a suite of vehicles that are able to travel where other all-terrain vehicles might struggle. The New Horizons Studio is led by Vice President Dr John Suh, who has had previous experience with Hyundai Ventures, as well as CRADLE – the Center for Robotic-Augmented Design in Living Experiences (any James Bond movie would be proud of that acronym).
The Hyundai Tiger X-1 is built on a modular platform with a large loading area enabling the Tiger X-1 to transport heavy loads over inhospitable terrains, with the advantage that the legs enable the platform itself to remain pretty much level and stable. The vehicle is designed to work on a ‘wheels first’ basis, with the articulated legs only coming into play when necessary.
Essentially, the Hyundai Tiger X-1 is a follow up to the Hyundai Elevate concept that was revealed in January 2019. The Hyundai Elevate was conceived to aid accessibility during natural disasters. While it looked futuristic, it also somehow looked like something an artist might have dreamt up in the 1950s – while the Tiger X-1 looks a bit more Space 1999.
The Hyundai Tiger Experimental 1 might be a long way from actually setting foot in the equivalent of Moonbase Alpha anytime soon, but it’s vehicles like this that could pave the way for the all-terrain moon vehicle of the future.
Image source: Hyundai Motor Group
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