Hyundai Motor works with domestic firm to develop lidar for self-driving robots

By Lim Chang-won Posted : May 17, 2022, 15:59 Updated : May 19, 2022, 09:00

[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor]

SEOUL -- As part of its strategy to implement a new "Mobility of Things" ecosystem using robots, South Korea's Hyundai auto group will work with a domestic company to develop a miniaturized lidar system for mobile robots. The goal is to develop a self-driving robot that can move stably between obstacles or on uneven roads by expanding the range of object recognition.   

Hyundai Motor Group said that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Smart Optical Sensors Lab (SOS Lab), which develops solid-state lidar sensors with strengths in size, weight, power, price, and durability. Hyundai will support mobile robot hardware design techniques and algorithms, while SOS Lab provides advanced 3D high-resolution lidar design technology and software know-how.   

The two companies will collaborate over two years to develop high-resolution 3D lidar sensors dedicated to optimizing the autonomous driving performance of  "Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED)," a small mobility platform that was unveiled in December 2021 and uses robotics technologies that can move through complex urban environments by freely adjusting its wheelbase and steering angles. 

"By installing 3D lidar optimized for Hyundai Motor Group's mobile robots, we want to take a step closer to the commercialization of a small mobility platform that freely drives complex outdoor spaces," Hyun Dong-jin, head of the auto group's robotics lab said in a statement on May 17. "Through this, we will be able to introduce various businesses and services such as courier, delivery, and single-person mobility."

"The robotics sector is an industry that revolutionizes the mobility market and ultimately creates a better life, a safe. We will supply accurate, high-resolution 3D lidar sensors optimized for robotics," SOS Lab CEO Jeong Ji-seong was quoted as saying.
MobED's wheel adjustability, compact body size and low vibration capabilities will make it an optimal technology solution for delivery, guiding and filming equipment. The flat, rectangular body rides on four wheels, with an independent suspension that enables optimal body posture and stable movement even on inclined and uneven roads. 

The platform can be used for indoor and outdoor service robots, and a stroller or leisure vehicle. Hyundai Motor said that if it is sufficiently increased, the platform can be used as a mobility device for the elderly or the disabled. Equipped with high-tech steering, braking and altitude control systems, the platform adapts and realizes optimum posture on various road surfaces and environments. 
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