This week Hyundai unveiled their Mobile Eccentric Droid (MobED), a small, rectangular battery platform with a wheel at each corner. Each wheel has three motors, allowing each to independently turn, steer, move up or down, or move laterally (to change the droid's overall wheelbase, for instance).
The arrangement allows the droid to keep its platform level despite the terrain:
It can also make sharp turns:
And do this:
"We have developed the MobED platform to overcome the limitations of existing indoor guide and service robots while maximizing its usability in cities by dramatically improving the platform's overall mobility," says Dong Jin Hyun, Head of Hyundai Motor Group Robotics Lab. "We are also looking ahead to assess how potential users of MobED will further expand their needs and use for this type of technology."
The company suggests the MobED could be used as a delivery platform, a trackless camera dolly, a telepresence 'bot or even to haul babies.
Hyundai says they'll be showing the MobED off at CES next month. In the meantime, here's their introduction video: