Hyundai is developing robots that will make us stronger and faster in the future.

One such device can be applied to the waist and legs to strengthen the muscles while you walk and enables users to run at speeds of up to 12km/h.

It’s one of the fastest “wearable robots” in the world and just one of the projects the Korean company has in the pipeline.

Hyundai sees robotics as an area with huge potential for growth and has established a US $4.5 million ‘AI Alliance Fund’ in cooperation with SK Telecom and Hanwha Asset Management, to promote startups with competence in artificial intelligence and smart mobility.

It has also made a strategic investments in the US-based artificial intelligence technology startup Perceptive Automata, to secure a human movement prediction technology, and is cooperating with China’s top vision technology equipped artificial intelligence startup DeepGlint.

The car maker is developing technology in three areas of robotics: wearable robots, service robots, and micro-mobility.

The first H-CEX, developed for industrial use, is a knee joint protective device that helps maintain the worker’s sitting position.

At 1.6kg it is light, yet highly durable and can withstand weights of up to 150kg.

H-VEX is another device that alleviates pressure on the workers’ neck and back by adding 60kg of strength to the user when their arms are extended overhead.

It is expected to be very effective at preventing injury and increasing work efficiency.

Hyundai says there are a variety of applications and fields that robots can be developed for, such as wearables, service robots and micro mobility.

The technology also has application in the medical field.

Hyundai showcased Hyundai Medical Exoskeleton (H-MEX) at the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which assists paraplegics and elderly people with walking and traversing staircases.

It is currently awaiting approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety in Korea and the US Food and Drug Administration for commercialisation as a medical device.

Other than wearables, various robots that can improve the quality of a user’s life will be introduced in the future.

These include a ‘Hotel Service Robot’ that can, among other functions, take care of room service and guide guests around a hotel; a ‘Sales Service Robot’ that can explain car details to customers in retailers; an ‘Electric Vehicle Charge Manipulator’ that automatically charges an electric vehicle when stopped in front of it; and a next-generation ‘robotic personal mobility’ solution, a single mobility platform so versatile that it can slowly traverse with two wheels and change into a three-wheel based transport for improved stability.

Impressive stuff.

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.