Hyundai is experimenting on a new concept that is set to make delivering items to remote and inaccessible areas easier, and if Hyundai is to be believed, even in space.

Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio, in partnership with Autodesk and Sunberg-Ferar, announced that they are developing their new concept, the Transforming Intelligent Ground Excursion Robot Experimental-1 (TIGER X-1). It is an uncrewed Ultimate Mobility Vehicle (UMV) that can transform from a four-wheel-drive vehicle to a four-legged walking machine capable of reaching locations that are difficult to go to through conventional means. 

The TIGER X-1 shares similarities with the Hyundai Elevate, Hyundai’s first-ever UMV concept that they debuted during CES 2019. Both UMVs can transform from four-wheeled vehicles to four-legged machines. They are also capable of driving like a vehicle and using their legs to go over obstacles it cannot drive over.

Credit: Hyundai Motor Group

The difference is that Elevate is big as it was designed to carry passengers while the TIGER X-1 is only slightly larger than a carry-on suitcase. The TIGER X-1 is no higher than a person’s shins and can reach waist level when its legs are fully extended.

The TIGER X-1 can also go to out-of-reach areas by being connected to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) specifically designed to transport the TIGER X-1 while also charging the TIGER X-1 en route. The TIGER X-1, in turn, can charge the UAV should the latter’s battery charge is low. 

The TIGER X-1’s load bay is large enough for most items or equipment while its leg-wheel articulations can also keep the TIGER X-1’s payload more levelled than a typical ground vehicle, ensuring no spills or damage due to tumbles and the like. These features also make them ideal for first responders or a medical team to send much-needed items in emergencies.

Credit: Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai has also made the TIGER X-1 versatile enough to be used for purposes other than delivering items. For instance, the TIGER X-1 can be outfitted with cameras and sensors to work as a mobile science platform capable of observing wildlife for scientific studies or shooting documentaries. Hyundai even envisioned the TIGER X-1 acting as exploratory rovers on the moon or in other planets in our Solar System like NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Unfortunately, Hyundai stated that the TIGER X-1 won’t be available on the market until after at least five years due to the need for further development and testing. However, we’re definitely looking forward to seeing these robots in action in the future be it in disaster relief or simply delivering parcels to our front door!


Written by John Paul Joaquin