Sundberg-Ferar in Autodesk University 2020 Keynote


November 18,

Sundberg-Ferar in Autodesk University 2020 Keynote

As part of the Design & Manufacturing Keynote in Autodesk University 2020, Sundberg-Ferar was shown in a presentation from Hyundai’s John Suh, Founding Director of New Horizons Studio, about the role of Generative Design in Hyundai’s “Elevate” walking car concept which Sundberg-Ferar helped develop.

Check out the keynote video below! (5 mins)

John Suh starts by introducing Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio a team focused on developing product concepts for their future customers. Their current project, “Elevate” is a vehicle that can access remote places, go over off road terrain and execute even planetary or lunar exploration. Sundberg-Ferar developed this vehicle that can transform from a 4-wheel vehicle to a 4-legged walking machine, from concept to working robot prototype. Elevate has applications across resource explorations, search and rescue, defense and military and more. Learn more about Sundberg-Ferar’s work on Elevate and the story behind the concept’s development.

John shared that the whole project started with a question: “What if we combine robotics with a car so that the vehicle could go where no other vehicles can go?” This question eventually led the New Horizons Team, together with Sundberg-Ferar, to find out what would it take to actually build something like this.

Some of the new technology that it took for the New Horizons Studio and Sundberg-Ferar to build “Elevate” was realized in partnership with Autodesk. The keynote presentation highlighted Sundberg-Ferar’s Dave Byron, Innovation Strategy Manager, using Autodesk technology in the design of “Elevate”. The project not only used Autodesk software to develop the vehicle design, but also for generative design which helped explore different types of shapes and structures for the lightweight, strong, and stiff components needed in the vehicle. John describes the generative design software as a “mind multiplier”, allowing designers and engineers to work in new multidisciplinary ways with better efficiency and also to see things they may not have otherwise considered.

The bottom line on generative design: Generative design isn’t replacing people. There is still and will always be a need for the human eye. As John put it, “the heart and soul of the human is still a need in the design process from the framing of the problem to the decisions about the best solutions”.

That human heart and soul is why Hyundai’s New Horizons Studio, and Sundberg-Ferar partnered on the journey to develop “Elevate” in the first place. This is a vehicle that can not only reach, help, and rescue humans where no other vehicle can, but it also brings hope! If you’re in a life-threatening situation, just the knowledge that someone or something is coming to help you brings hope and gives the human heart the strength to hang on. We’re very excited to continue partnering with Hyundai to bring this vehicle from concept to reality!

And hey – if you’re looking for a new mobility innovation partner, drop us a note! We’d love to talk!