Robotics

Hyundai's Plug & Drive system would make inanimate objects mobile

Hyundai's Plug & Drive system ...
Hyundai's Plug & Drive platform, pictured here serving as a robotic bellboy
Hyundai's Plug & Drive platform, pictured here serving as a robotic bellboy
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A cargo-carrying application for the PnD system
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A cargo-carrying application for the PnD system
Hyundai's Plug & Drive platform, pictured here serving as a robotic bellboy
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Hyundai's Plug & Drive platform, pictured here serving as a robotic bellboy
The base PnD platform, to which various payloads could be added
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The base PnD platform, to which various payloads could be added
Two PnD-based people-movers being demonstrated at CES 2022
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Two PnD-based people-movers being demonstrated at CES 2022
The robotic bellboy in physical form at CES 2022
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The robotic bellboy in physical form at CES 2022
A closer look at one of the PnD-based personal mobility devices
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A closer look at one of the PnD-based personal mobility devices
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One thing that a growing number of "smart" machines can do is move autonomously through buildings or even city streets. Designing that functionality from scratch can be challenging, though, which is where Hyundai's Plug & Drive (PnD) modular platform is intended to come in.

Unveiled in functional concept form this week at CES 2022, PnD would be available in a variety of sizes and drive configurations, in order to fit a wide range of items. These could include cargo containers, vending machines, seating for passengers, or just about anything else.

The platform incorporates four battery-powered wheel units, each one of which is equipped with LiDAR and camera sensors for navigation and obstacle avoidance. Those units also provide the propulsion, suspension, braking and steering – each wheel can pivot 360 degrees, allowing the platform to move in any direction without turning around, and to turn on the spot.

The base PnD platform, to which various payloads could be added
The base PnD platform, to which various payloads could be added

Hyundai presented several potential applications for the system, including both autonomous and joystick-controlled setups for moving cargo and passengers. Some of these can be seen in animated action, on YouTube.

"The PnD module is adaptive and expandable to match human needs," says Dong Jin Hyun, Vice President and Head of Hyundai Motor Group's Robotics Lab. "Because in the world to come, you won’t move your things – they will move around you."

Two PnD-based people-movers being demonstrated at CES 2022
Two PnD-based people-movers being demonstrated at CES 2022

There's no word or when or if the Plug & Drive platform may enter real-world use.

Source: Hyundai

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1 comment
1 comment
paul314
How much more is this going to cost than a luggage cart? I love the idea of my stuff following me (or sitting with my stuff on a mobile throne zipping through the airport).