South Korean companies team up to develop mobility solutions to explore moon’s surface.
Hyundai and Kia, which have pioneered possibilities for mobility expansion through technologies such as robotics and advanced air mobility (AAM), are now looking into space.
The two companies have signed joint research agreements with six South Korean research institutes and have formed a consultative body to develop mobility solutions to explore the moon’s surface.
The announcement follows the country’s successful launch of a domestically produced rocket in June.
“We have taken the first step towards transforming our vision for robotics and the concept of metamobility into reality,” says Yong Wha Kim, executive vice-president of Hyundai Motor and Kia’s R&D planning and co-ordination centre.
“We will expand the scope of human movement experience beyond traditional means of transport and beyond the bounds of Earth.”
With collaboration expected to start as early as August, the consultative body will define the concept of lunar exploration mobility and major core technologies while developing and reviewing specific strategies and implementation measures to operate on the moon.
Under the multi-lateral research agreement, participants from the private and government sectors will integrate their knowledge and capabilities to advance their existing technologies and engineer new solutions for moon exploration mobility.
Expertise will be brought to bear across numerous areas, including exploration equipment, software for mobility operation and remote communication functionality.
With no air, extreme temperatures and countless craters and coatings of lunar dust composed of sharp and abrasive particles, the moon’s surface is an exceptionally harsh environment.
While it poses significant challenges to developing surface exploration mobility, it also provides the ultimate proving ground, and will deliver invaluable lessons for Hyundai and Kia to further accelerate the delivery of smart and sustainable mobility solutions on Earth.
The two companies have formed an internal consultative body with key personnel for the development and operation of lunar-surface mobility. Resources will be brought to bear from Hyundai and Kia’s robotics lab in charge of robot development.
They will also collaborate on software and hardware design and interpretation, space-environment response technology and special equipment for conducting lunar
Hyundai and Kia expect to secure proprietary technologies for future mobility businesses in the process of the new lunar-exploration mobility robotics development.