Skip to main content

Hyundai’s new four-wheeled robot is designed to carry anything you want it to

Hyundai’s new four-wheeled robot is designed to carry anything you want it to


Mobility as a service

Share this story

South Korean automaker Hyundai is used to making machines that move, but the company is now tackling the problem of mobility on a much smaller scale than usual. Instead of new cars, it’s announced at CES this year a four-wheeled robot named MobED that’s designed to carry, well, anything you like — from parcels to people; TV screens to trays of drinks.

MobED is about the size and shape of a dolly you might find in a workshop or garage. It’s 67cm long and 60cm wide, with four 12-inch pneumatic tires that can be controlled independently via a trio of motors at the end of each axel. A complex suspension system means its central platform can be tilted in any direction, letting MobED keep goods level when driving up or down a ramp and adjust the angle of its cargo (which would be handy if the robot is carrying a camera or screen).


What exactly MobED will be used for is an open question. Hyundai is calling the device a “mobility platform,” and an official press release suggests it wants to sell MobED to industrial partners who will then adapt it for specific use cases. Prices are unknown, and judging by some flashy videos from Hyundai, it’s imagining some very varied applications. MobED could become a personal caddy, for example, like the Gitamini — toting packages and shopping. And future versions might even be strong enough to carry people.

“MobED can be used as a mobility device for the elderly or the disabled when the platform is sufficiently increased for people to mount it,” said the company in a press release. “It can also be used as a stroller or leisure vehicle.”

The robot has a top speed of 30km/h (18mph) and can drive for four hours on a single charge. How exactly it navigates is unknown, though. Hyundai makes no mention of sensors at all, whether cameras or lidar, nor does the company say whether it comes with any autonomous driving software — which would be very onerous for partners to develop.

Interestingly, Hyundai isn’t the only car manufacturer branching out into this sort of generalized robotics. Toyota and Honda are both investing heavily in this area, developing machines that might one day work in care homes or be used as personal mobility devices. Evidently, as self-driving technology develops, many car manufacturers are seeing new areas to apply this newly acquired expertise. MobED is just the latest example of this trend.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 24 Striking out

External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Andrew WebsterSep 24
Looking for something to do this weekend?

Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.

A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
Thermae Romae Novae.
Image: Netflix
Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.