Hyundai unveils mobile ‘eccentric’ droid, MobED

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Hyundai has revealed the Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED), a new small mobility platform using cutting-edge robotics technologies.

The MobED certainly has an innovative design. Its flat, rectangular body rides on four large wheels, with an independent suspension that enables optimal body posture and stable movement even on inclined and uneven roads. This suspension allows the platform to move through urban environments by freely adjusting its wheelbase and steering angles.

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

Equipped with innovative technologies including an advanced ‘Eccentric Wheel’ drive and high-tech steering, braking and altitude control systems, the MobED adapts and realises 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 intelligent design arrangement of each wheel featuring an individual power and steering control system enables in-place rotation and omnidirectional movement, which allows for highly effective mobility even in narrow situations. The eccentric mechanism-based posture control system also stabilises the body attitude by adjusting the height of each wheel according to the ground environment. The MobED’s 12-inch pneumatic tyres further help to absorb bumps and vibrations.

MobED measures 67 cm long, 60 cm wide, 33 cm high, and weighs 50 kg. Its wheelbase expands to 65 cm for optimum stability in high-speed driving and then scales down to 45 cm for low-speed maneuvers in more complex environments. Its maximum speed is 30 km/h, allowing for around four hours of driving on a single charge with a battery capacity of 2 kWh.

Designed for full versatility and modularity, the MobED can be utilised for various applications, depending on the mounted device.  For example, it could be used as a mobility device for the elderly or the disabled when the platform is sufficiently increased for people to mount it. It can also be used as a stroller or leisure vehicle.

Hyundai Motor Group will be at CES 2022, Jan. 5-8, 2022. At the event, Hyundai Motor will present its future vision with robotics. The MobED will also be on display at Hyundai Motor’s booth.

Chris Price
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