Hyundai Motor Reveals Vision of Metamobility Concept

IMAGE: Metamobility ecosystem

Metamobility ecosystem

If there is one car company that is really forward-thinking in its attitude to mobility and just where all the amazing technological leaps being taken could lead us, it is Hyundai, and the company once again stamped its name on the ‘most innovative thinking’ list with its vision for the use of robotics.

The technology will, the comapny says, be an essential part of its transformation into a smart mobility solution provider, and at CES, and under the main theme of ‘Expanding Human Reach’, Hyundai highlighted how its robotics business will drive that shift.

The company, which acquired leading robotics business Boston Dynamics last year, revealed its concept of ‘Metamobility’. This all gets a bit complicated but boils down to Hyundai envisioning a future in which the real and the virtual worlds – which it clearly sees as a major part of our future – can interact.

You may have heard of the word ‘metaverse’ in relation to Facebook Inc., which is now known as Meta. Well, the metaverse is essentially a network of connected 3D virtual worlds, and for Hyundai, it seems this can all be made more fascinating by combining its robotics and artificial intelligence expertise to link people in the real world with the virtual world, and interact in both.

The company says it expects that vehicles will serve as smart devices to access virtual spaces, while robotics will act as a medium to connect the virtual and real worlds, ‘enabling people to actually change and transform things in the real world through a metaverse and robot connection’.

As an example, the company says a vehicle that connects to virtual spaces could allow users to access various in-car virtual reality experiences. Depending on the user’s needs, a car could be transformed into an entertainment space, a meeting room for work or even a 3D video game platform. Through robotics and digital technology, a user could access a ‘digital twin’ of their home and use a robot to, for example, feed their pet.

This all sounds very science fiction, but given the incredible advancements in the technology, it sounds quite plausible, if you can get your head around the concept.

“The idea behind Metamobility is that space, time and distance will all become irrelevant. By connecting robots to the metaverse, we will be able to move freely between both the real world and virtual reality,” said Euisun Chung, Hyundai Motor Group’s Executive Chair. “Going one step further from the immersive ‘be there’ proxy experience that the metaverse provides, robots will become an extension of our own physical senses, allowing us to reshape and enrich our daily lives with Metamobility.”

Also at CES, Hyundai revealed its Plug & Drive (PnD) and Drive & Lift (DnL) modular platforms – systems that enable inanimate things to be mobile using the company’s robotics technologies.

The PnD module is a single-wheel robotics platform that combines intelligent steering, braking, in-wheel electric drive and suspension hardware that can be scaled up or down, for any purpose, size or application. LiDAR and camera sensors will, the company says, allow a PnD-enabled object to move autonomously.

Also revealed was the MobED (Mobile Eccentric Droid) small mobility platform that uses the DnL module which combines the drive, steering and braking systems in one structure. With a DnL mounted on each wheel, MobED can lift the platform up and down so the body can stay level as it clears terrain or low barriers such as steps or speed bumps.


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