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The e-car: Electronics technology applied to sustainable mobility, Part 12

Electronics technology is able to contribute to the development of the automotive industry by means of many of its new developments, such as sensors, voice recognition systems, autonomous driving systems etc. Recently, a new huge introduction by the Hyundai Company shows that the potential applications of electronics includes robotics in an unprecedented way through the realization of a car that is able to “walk” by means of robotic legs that can pass over large obstacles (see Figure 1):

“South Korean car maker Hyundai on Monday gave a look at work it is doing on a vehicle with robotic legs to let it walk or crawl over treacherous terrain. Hyundai showed off its Elevate project on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show gadget extravaganza, billing it an unprecedented “Ultimate Mobility Vehicle” that combines technology from electric cars with robotics.

“What if a car designed with robotics could save lives in disasters,” said Hyundai executive John Suh, who heads a Cradle arm of the company devoted to innovation. “The need for search and rescue, and humanitarian aid, is growing around the world.” Elevate is designed with four mechanical legs with wheels for feet, according to a small-scale model shown at the press event. Elevate vehicles can roll along on extended legs or retract them to be driven like a car. Elevate can climb over walls as high as five feet (1.5 meters) while keeping the vehicle body level with the ground, Byron said. Hyundai has been working on the walking car for three years, according to the company. Examples of how this might be used included being able to carefully extract injured people from disaster zones or rugged terrain. ” (Source: The Economic Times)

Figure 1

The Hyundai Elevator, a car that can walk and crawl, which represents a huge example of the potentialities of the robotics, a very interesting branch of the electronics technology
(Source: The Economic Times)

The Hyundai Elevator, a car that can walk and crawl, which represents a huge example of the potentialities of the robotics, a very interesting branch of the electronics technology (Source: The Economic Times)

The Hyundai Elevator presented at CES 2019 is a great example of robotics applied to make people’s lives easier and more comfortable. Let’s think, for example, of a patient in a wheel chair who could benefit a tremendously from such an innovative car.

Robotics is the key technology whose effectiveness and progress in the field of automated systems, in helping human beings, is progressively becoming more relevant and important, such as in the case of robotics for rehabilitation of patients hit by a stroke (see Figure 2):

“Novel stroke rehabilitation techniques that employ electrical stimulation (ES) and robotic technologies are effective in reducing upper limb impairments….To do this, the participants' arm was supported by a robot. ES, mediated by advanced iterative learning control (ILC) algorithms, was applied to the triceps and anterior deltoid muscles. Each movement was repeated 6 times and ILC adjusted the amount of stimulation applied on each trial to improve accuracy and maximize voluntary effort. Participants completed clinical assessments (Fugl-Meyer, Action Research Arm Test) at baseline and post-intervention, as well as unassisted tracking tasks at the beginning and end of each intervention session. Data were analyzed using t-tests and linear regression.” (Source: OPEN i)

Figure 2

Robotics applied to rehabilitation of stroke patients. SAIL system components: 1) Hocoma ArmeoSpring support, 2) surface electrodes on triceps brachii and anterior deltoid muscles, 3) realtime processor and interface module, 4) monitor displaying VR task, and 5) monitor displaying therapist user interface. 6) shows an example of a reaching task displayed to a stroke participant with left hemipshere damage. An image of their own arm is shown and they are encouraged to follow a sphere which moves along a reference path (the trajectory); in this case from bottom right to top left. (Source: OPENi)

Robotics applied to rehabilitation of stroke patients. SAIL system components: 1) Hocoma ArmeoSpring support, 2) surface electrodes on triceps brachii and anterior deltoid muscles, 3) realtime processor and interface module, 4) monitor displaying VR task, and 5) monitor displaying therapist user interface. 6) shows an example of a reaching task displayed to a stroke participant with left hemipshere damage. An image of their own arm is shown and they are encouraged to follow a sphere which moves along a reference path (the trajectory); in this case from bottom right to top left. (Source: OPENi)

What do you think of the potential of electronics technology to make human life better by means of robotics applications?

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