Hyundai has unveiled the Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED) robot that’s capable of carrying everything from booze to babies.
If the design of MobED looks a little on the simple side, that’s because it is. But beyond the four wheels and platform, it’s actually got a lot going on.
The clever stuff happens when it takes on uneven terrain, with its impressive suspension and highly versatile steering capabilities keeping the platform remarkably steady, according to Hyundai’s video showing off MobED.
As you can see, Hyundai envisages multiple uses for its new robot. We can see, for example, MobED confidently carrying a champagne tower up a slope and over books without without smashing all of the glasses or even spilling a single drop.
We also see Hyundai’s robot assisting a delivery worker, carrying a baby, and providing entertainment during a workout via an attached display. The video also hints at MobED functioning as a camera dolly and food transporter. Hyundai suggests developers use the device as the framework for their own robotic applications, so imagine what you like.
Digging into the specs, we learn that MobED comes with a 26.4-inch (67-cm) by 23.6-inch (60-cm) platform whose height cleverly adjusts according to the conditions. Mobility is provided by four wheels each with a height of 13 inches (33 cm).
The 110-pound (50 kg) robot can reach a zippy 19 mph (30 kph) and operate for around four hours on a single charge. Three motors attached to each wheel provide power and precise steering while also controlling the overall posture of the vehicle, Hyundai said.
“We have developed the MobED platform to overcome the limitations of existing indoor guide and service robots while maximizing its usability in cities by dramatically improving the platform’s overall mobility,” Dong Jin Hyun, head of Hyundai’s Robotics Lab, said in a release. “We are also looking ahead to assess how potential users of MobED will further expand their needs and use for this type of technology.”
The company more famous for cars than robotic contraptions doesn’t mention to what extent MobED is autonomous, nor does it say if it’s planning a commercial release. Digital Trends has reached out to Hyundai for more information and we will update this article when we hear back.
Hyundai said it’s planning to showcase MobED at CES 2022 in Las Vegas next month where visitors will be able to see the innovative vehicle in action.
Another quirky device coming to CES 2022 is LG’s StanbyMe touchscreen TV, essentially a display attached to a rolling stand.