IT IS best known for its affordable engines, but Hyundai is branching out into the world of SPACE robots.
The South Korean auto giant announced on Wednesday that it is developing a machine capable of traversing the moon’s surface.
It’s unclear exactly what kind of robot the team is making, but the focus will be on braving the harsh conditions of the moon.
It could be part of South Korea’s ambitious space program, which aims to land a robot on the moon by 2030.
Hyundai’s project is a partnership with sister carmaker Kia and six Korean research institutes.
“Hyundai and Kia… are expanding their vision beyond the confines of the earth and into space,” Hyundai said in a statement.
The company, which is valued at $300 billion, added that the project will focus on “mobility solutions” for exploring the lunar surface.
That could take the form of a two-legged robot that walks like a human, a four-legged, canine-like machine, or a more traditional rover.
It’s unclear which lunar mission the companies are eyeing as a potential beneficiary of the technology.
In a press release, Hyundai cited Korea’s first successful launch of a domestically produced missile in June.
A laggard in the aerospace industry, the country has outlined an ambitious program to catch up with countries like Russia and China.
It will launch its first lunar mission on August 2nd.
The Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter will orbit Earth’s natural satellite for at least a year, measuring the magnetic force over its surface and searching for resources such as water ice and uranium.
The mission is seen as the first step in South Korea’s deep space agenda, which includes a robotic landing on the moon by 2030.
A mission to return asteroid samples is also in the works.
What role – if any – Hyundai will play in these expeditions remains to be seen, but it’s likely the country’s biggest manufacturers will be involved as contractors.
Yong Wha Kim, executive vice president of Hyundai, said the goal is to help humanity progress and “create a better future.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9169976/hyundais-super-strong-moon-robots-humans-space/ Hyundai builds super powerful MOON robots designed to work with humans in space