And the company is dead serious about building them, too, with a new development and test facility to be built in Montana.
The New Horizons Studio will get around US$20 million over the next five years, and will employ about 50 people. Located in Montana State University's Innovation Campus in Bozeman, Montana, it'll be "a unit focused on the development of Ultimate Mobility Vehicles" – starting out with two projects, inspired by the TIGER autonomous vehicle and the Elevate crewed UMV, the latter of which will start out as a two-seater.
The goal here is to build the most unstoppable rough-terrain vehicles on the market. As such, these things will have four electrically driven wheels, each mounted on bizarre articulating legs. These powerful robotic legs can bend or swivel at the hip, bend again at the knee and ankle, and fully rotate the wheels before they touch down as well. They're capable of lifting these vehicles or lowering them, stepping over things, stepping up and down off sheer ledges, and precisely placing the wheels on the toughest of driving surfaces. Check out the original "Project Elevate" video below.