The Mobile Eccentric Droid, or MobED, is what Hyundai calls its all-new mobility platform that comes to life with an agile and high-tech 50kg robot. Designed to carry small cargo like courier packages and TVs across ramps and varied terrain, this service robot can also be used to mount a stroller or act as a mobility device for disabled and elderly people. Although it looks fit to be on an episode of BattleBots or Robot Wars, this innocuous droid is meant to be entertaining in other, more helpful ways.
With three motors and independent steering in each of its four 12-inch pneumatic wheels, Hyundai’s MobED offers omnidirectional movement and in-place rotation for navigation in challenging environments. The large, narrow tires are mounted to an independent suspension and can adjust the wheelbase and height for added agility.
Hyundai says the MobED can be used as a stroller or a leisure vehicle and can also work indoors and outdoors as a service robot. It can be operated for around four hours on a single charge with its 2kWh battery and can achieve a top speed of 30km/h (18mph).
The robot’s low-profile, flat body is designed for stability, enough to carry plenty of drinks up a ramp without spilling. It measures 67 x 60 x 33cm (l x w x h) and can adjust its wheelbase between 45-65cm as required. Although it seems like a pretty capable mobility companion, according to Hyundai’s promo video, the company hasn’t specified the technology working behind the scenes, or visible to the eye, for this supposedly autonomous robot.
The MobED comes as one of the first products out of Hyundai, following the Korean company’s deal to hold a controlling stake of US-based Boston Dynamics earlier this year. While not the first robot pitched as a daily companion, it’ll be interesting to see what details Hyundai will reveal about MobED at the upcoming CES 2022.