News // Technology

Hyundai wants to turn the robot dog into perhaps the most spectacular car

For his next trick, Spot – the robot dog, known for analyzing the Chernobyl exclusion zone and even working on oil rigs or on construction sites – could receive a major reward from Hyundai.

Softbank is in talks with South Korean carmaker to sell its robotics company, Boston Dynamics Inc., according to a Bloomberg report . It is estimated that the transaction could be worth up to $ 1 billion.

Why is Hyundai so interested in the robot dog? One theory is that it has to do with Spot’s legs. Hyundai may want to adapt these members for its own completely wild car concept that… works .

A car with legs

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2019 , Hyundai presented for the first time this so-called “Elevate” concept, which recreates a series of different concepts of insect-looking electric vehicles.

As the Roadshow at CNET said at the time, the car is capable of driving at highway speeds, climbing 1-and-a-half-meter walls and crossing equally large precipices, making it “practically an AT-AT from Star Wars ”.

In a January 2019 press release, Hyundai said of its Elevate concept that it marks the first “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle”, a key word that practically means the world’s first standing car.

The car goes on rescue missions

The company creates strange cars as a possible solution in search and rescue operations.

“When a tsunami or earthquake breaks out, current rescue vehicles can provide first aid only at the edge of the wreckage field. Rescuers have to walk the rest of the way. Elevate can lead to the spot and can rise just above the remnants of flooding or collapsed cement, “said John Suh, Hyundai’s vice president, in a statement.

Not surprisingly, given some of the best robots I’ve seen – from snake robots to drone fleets to crews of robots of various shapes and sizes – they have been used for rescue missions. in caves and even dangerous inspections in nuclear installations.

If the transaction ends, it will not be the first time Spot will receive a new owner.

In 1992, Boston Dynamics left the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Then, in 2013, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, acquired the company for an undisclosed amount in 2013. Four years later, Softbank bought Boston Dynamics. The details of that deal were not made public.