You may not be ready for the future, but it’s already rolling up on you. Hyundai has revealed its latest robotic innovation called Mobile Eccentric Droid, or MobED.
Pegged as a multipurpose “mobility platform,” the four-wheeled robot butler features a low, flat body that can pretty much carry anything including packages, your food and even your baby. The MobED also automatically adjusts to different scenarios like inclines or obstructions in its path.
And if you feel like delivering a wine glass pyramid to yourself, it looks like Hyundai approves of your unabashed use of its robot. Hyundai’s video previewing the many uses for its MobED also shows rigging it up as a camera dolly, setting it up as a tiered serving platter or attaching it to your home gym.
Hyundai’s latest pursuits in robotics should come as no surprise as the South Korean automaker recently acquired Boston Dynamics in June. Even before they purchased the American robotics company that so often triggered my uncanny valley response, Hyundai has toyed around with things like an AI-powered robot on its showroom floors.
Intelligent design — No doubt Hyundai is taking robotics more seriously, especially when looking at the design of its MobED. The robo-butler comes in at roughly 110 pounds and was built with a chassis that mimics all-wheel drive, which Hyundai calls “Eccentric Wheel” drive. The four wheels are each equipped with three motors and have their own individual power and steering systems giving the MobED impressive maneuverability. Even when it twists, turns or rolls over things, the independent suspension and 12-inch pneumatic tires give a smooth enough ride as to not spill your booze or wake your baby.
The MobED can also adjust its wheelbase, squeezing down to 45cm when it’s driving slowly and trying to navigate through narrow spaces and widening to 65cm for more stability when it’s going high-speed. And this thing can actually kind of haul. It can hit a max speed of 30 km/h, or roughly 18 mph, matching the average speed of most electric scooters these days.
A more serious use — To be fair, the MobED can make life a lot easier for certain people, especially those with disabilities. Hyundai even said in their press release that their new robot can be used as a mobility device for the elderly or disabled, once the platform is upgraded to hold a person. Hyundai is planning to officially debut its MobED at CES 2022 in January, alongside its vision for the future with robotics.
Between Hyundai’s new multi-use robot and the many food delivery robots already prowling the streets of California — and soon Miami, it looks like these robots might be part of our daily lives in the near future. And in that case, we may as well repent for our sins now before the robots eventually get wise to us subjecting them to years of servitude.