Hyundai Motor Group has ventured further into the high-value robotics industry of the future by commencing development of Hyundai Vest Exoskeleton (H-VEX) wearable industrial robots.
Following the Hyundai Chairless Exoskeleton (H-CEX) demonstration conducted in the Hyundai-KIA North American factory last August, the company plans to verify H-VEX’s success through extensive testing at the end of 2018.
In early 2018, Hyundai selected Robot-Artificial Intelligence as one of five areas of future innovation growth. The company established a designated robotics team in its strategic technology headquarters to focus on the development of related tech, and is expanding its cooperation with associated sectors.
Dr. Youngcho Chi, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Technology Division and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group said, “The robotics field not only offers future mobility solutions, but also presents alternative solutions to reduce productivity decline in the workforce. Hyundai plans to utilise its extensive technological database collected from autonomous vehicle production experience to drive the company’s success in the robotics field.”
Hyundai is developing technology in three areas of robotics: wearable robots, service robots, and micro-mobility. The company is also in the process of strategic cooperation with promising domestic and international companies that possess robotic and artificial intelligence technology.
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. With waist, thigh and knee belts it can be easily equipped and adjusted to the user’s height. It also features three different angle settings (85/70/55).
Along with the H-CEX, Hyundai plans to test and apply the H-VEX in the North American factories at the end of the year. H-VEX is a device that alleviates pressure on the workers’ neck and back by adding 60kg of strength to the user when their arms are used overhead. It is expected to be very effective at preventing injury and increasing work efficiency.
There are a variety of applications and fields that robots can be developed for, such as wearables, service robots, micro mobility, etc.