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News / 10-23-18

Hyundai Motor Group ventures into new robotics technology


By Mavelle Durian

 

Apart from investing in Perceptive Automata artificial intelligence software for self-driving cars, Hyundai Motor also ventured into high-value robotics by developing the Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (H-VEX) wearable industrial robots.

Following the demonstration of the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton (H-CEX) last August, the Korean car manufacturer plans to do an extensive testing of the H-VEX by the end of the year.

Early this year, Hyundai made the Robot-Artificial Intelligence as one of five areas of future innovation growth. To further develop the technology and expand its cooperation with associated sectors, the company established a robotics team in its headquarters.

Hyundai’s technology focus will be on three areas of robotics: wearable robots, service robots, and micro-mobility. The company also plans to gain strategic cooperation with companies that have expertise on robotic and artificial intelligence technology.

“The robotics field not only offers future mobility solutions, but also presents alternative solutions to reduce productivity decline in the workforce. Hyundai plans to utilize its extensive technological database collected from autonomous vehicle production experience to drive the company’s success in the robotics field,” said Dr. Youngcho Chi, executive vice president of strategy & technology division and chief innovation officer of Hyundai Motor Group.

The H-CEX is a knee-joint protective device that maintains the worker’s sitting position, while the H-VEX alleviates pressure on the workers’ neck and back to prevent injuries, increasing work efficiency. These won’t only help Hyundai employees, it can also be used by paraplegics and elderly people on walking and traversing staircases.

The Hyundai Universal Medical Assist (HUMA) is also developing the robot, so that it can be worn on the waist and legs to strengthen the muscles while walking, enabling users to run at a speed of 12 km/h, making it one of the fastest wearable robots in the world.

Aside from wearables, Hyundai will also introduce robots that can improve a person’s daily tasks in the future. These include a Hotel Service Robot that can assist guests and take care hotel rooms; Sales Service Robot that can explain car details to customers; Electric Vehicle Charge Manipulator, which automatically charges an electric vehicle when stopped in front of it; and a next-generation of robotic personal mobility that has versatile transport wheels.

Hyundai Motor Group is making big investments in robotics field, including the US$ 4.5 million AI Alliance Fund that was established with SK Telecom, and Hanwha Asset Management Co. Ltd. to subsidize the company’s startups in artificial intelligence and smart mobility.