Pretty much everyone knows by now that Hyundai makes cars, but what they might not know is that Hyundai makes a bunch of other stuff too., like, for example, the Mobile Eccentric Droid, aka MobED, which debuted online on Wednesday and will be featured at CES next month.
What exactly is a MobED, and, maybe more importantly, what is it for? Well, in the simplest terms, it’s an agile self-propelled robot that provides a stable platform regardless of the terrain. Maybe that’s not so simple? In any case, the MobED has four wheels that can move in a ton of different ways, such as counter-steering or even changing wheelbase. Those wheels are paired with an actively adjustable suspension that can change ride heights independently on all four wheels.
Why is this cool? Well, say you have a stack of filled champagne flutes, and you, for whatever reason (I don’t know your life), need to get them up a ramp, across a big threshold and over a bunch of power cords strewn across a dance floor. The MobED can help you out here because it can continuously adjust itself so that the platform that your tower of champagne is stacked on remains level, and it can actively smooth bumps so you don’t spill a drop of your precious bubbly.
In slightly more practical terms, this little platform could be used for package deliveries over rough terrain; it could — as Hyundai shows in its video — be used as a needlessly high-tech baby carriage or, more likely, as a platform for service robots to make them more functional. The possibilities are endless, but I mostly want to see cats cruising around on one like it’s some kind of Roomba Rubicon.