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Hyundai Motor to join moon surface exploration

Hyundai Motor’s robotics vision unveiled at 2022 CES in Jan. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor’s robotics vision unveiled at 2022 CES in Jan. (Hyundai Motor)
Hyundai Motor and its sister company Kia signed a joint research agreement Wednesday with six government-funded research institutes that encompass aeronautics and space capabilities to develop mobility for moon surface exploration, the companies said Wednesday.

Through this joint research, they will not only develop technologies needed to make mobility for moon surface exploration but also come up with specific strategies and methods to operate such mobility on the harsh environmental and geographical conditions of the moon, according to Hyundai Motor.

The moon has millions of large and small craters on its surface caused by collisions with meteorites, comets, and asteroids.

In addition, the moon is exposed to the radiation of the universe, which makes its weather more extreme. The moon has temperatures between 130 degrees Celcius and minus 170 degrees Celcius and is exposed to fine yet sharp dust.

The South Korean carmaker lined up its renowned robot-development team at Hyundai Robotics Lab, as well as those that have expertise in making equipment needed for space exploration.

Hyundai Motor and Kia hope to take the lead in securing mobility-related future technologies through this joint research and development and actualize their mobility vision.

At CES 2022, the carmaker unveiled its plans for next-generation robotics dedicated to expanding human reach beyond limitations.

“This can be seen as our first step to achieving our robotics vision. By preemptively preparing for the future that will someday come to us, we will put effort into making Korea lead the technology of the space era, and further expand the realm of mobility experience to contribute to human progress,” said an official from Hyundai Motor and Kia.

Hyundai Motor and Kia expect the joint research to kick off in August at the earliest.

The government-funded research institutes to take part in this joint research are Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, Korea Aerospace Research Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute and Korea Automotive Technology Institute.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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