Wheels attached to robotic legs turn it into a walking car.

It may look a bit scary and ready to take over the world following an invasion, but rest assured the Elevate concept has nothing but good intentions. Debuting today in Las Vegas at CES, the Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) as described by Hyundai is a futuristic concept with wheels attached to robotic legs to give it go-anywhere capabilities unmatched by any other rescue vehicle.

Part car, part robot, the Elevate was developed to tackle the most difficult surfaces on Earth and reach remote areas quicker than conventional vehicles created for search-and-rescue and humanitarian aid missions. Hyundai believes the concept could serve a wider variety of purposes as it could be a viable solution for disabled people in areas where there aren’t ramps. That’s because the Elevate can effectively walk thanks to its robotic legs, which come with built-in propulsion motors and have five degrees of freedom.

Hyundai sees a future in which a disabled person could summon the Elevate to walk up to a house’s front door, automatically level itself, and allow the person in the wheelchair to simply roll right in. Fully electric, the concept is based on the company’s latest modular EV platform freeing up the possibility to install different bodies depending on specific requirements.

Those robotic arms can mimic mammalian and reptilian walking gaits, so it can effectively move in just about any direction, with Hyundai adding the Elevate can climb a five-foot wall or step over a five-foot gap. When the robotic arms are stowed, the concept can be used as a regular EV able to comfortably cruise at highway speeds.

Almost three years in the making, Hyundai’s oddly intriguing Elevate is purely a concept, but hopefully one day it will go into production as it has the potential to save lives in emergency situations.

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