Hyundai Wants To Build A Metaverse... With Real Robots

Hyundai wants to build a metaverse that has the capability to connect with actual physical robots that operate in the real world, not just virtual reality. The concept of the metaverse is in its beginning stages with various ideas emerging at once and some will surely fail. The idea of including robots might seem a bit outlandish at first but there is real value in doing so and could be one of the most practical reasons for the metaverse since it anchors it in reality.

Hyundai has a long history in robotics for industrial use and shipbuilding. Its acquisition of Boston Dynamics near the end of 2020, solidified its position as a leader in the field for lighter and more mobile robots. In fact, the division that owns a controlling share in Boston Dynamics is Hyundai Motor Group, which manufactures vehicles. This is a consumer-oriented part of the vast Hyundai conglomerate, focusing on mobility.

Related: Hyundai's New Robot Can Deliver Groceries And Carry Babies

With this background, robotics takes on a new meaning, and a large amount of Hyundai's YouTube video presentation describes future mobility solutions with smaller wheeled pods that transport individuals to larger vehicles for extended travel. It's very futuristic, to the point of seeming a bit like science fiction. Strangely, the more practical portion of the video which is already cued up below discusses using robots as physical avatars while the user is in the metaverse. Real-world presence while in virtual reality is a very realistic and practical need that will exist at the point that people are spending a significant amount of time in VR.

The first robots seen in everyday life are often delivery robots and their numbers are increasing. In some cases, this takes the form of flying drones. Amazon, Google, and recently Walmart have all been exploring the potential of flying packages directly to customers. Wheeled delivery bots are also growing in popularity and are seen at some university campuses. There's little reason to use a complex, legged robot such as those made by Boston Dynamics for this purpose, however, more rugged terrain would make it impossible for a wheeled robot, and flying drones have limited weight capacities.

A Spot robot dog would be quite handy for transporting items up a staircase. Virtually wearing an Atlas robot like a suit opens up a world of new possibilities, such as shopping in a supermarket remotely via robotic telepresence. That is a very expensive way to pick up groceries so it might be more realistic to imagine handling heavy construction from home or the office by 'wearing' a crane. Dangerous work such as rescuing survivors of a natural disaster or exploring Mars in first-person perspective as a robot might someday become possible and this angle on robotic avatars seems much more practical. Whatever role robots take on in the future, a tie-in with the Metaverse seems likely and Hyundai is already making plans about how it can be an integral part of this future possibility.

Next: Is Hyundai Planning To Become Another Tesla?

Source: Hyundai/YouTube



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