KURT brengt elektromobiliteit dichterbij

Een artikel over het KURT concept werd opgenomen in Bits&Chips, nadien overgenomen door Mechatronica&Machinebouw. Voor de Nederlandstalige lezer biedt het een beknopt overzicht van de ontstaansgeschiedenis en het onderliggende modulaire en schaalbare platform. Ondertussen werd dit al uitgewerkt in meerdere versies gaande van een specifiek platform voor gebruik in ziekenhuizen, transport en mobiliteit in de binnenstad en zwaar logistiek transport op luchthavens.

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KURT meets Tesla: enabling urban electro-mobility

The breakthrough

Electric driving is the future. The concept is far from novel, but due to cheap oil and deficient batteries it was too early to convince the general public. That is about to change as mobility with traditional engines is reaching its limits. Batteries are increasingly becoming more powerful and affordable. Away with pollution, noise and traffic jams.

The ideal setting to launch electric driving is the city. Distances are shorter, the driving speed is limited and the call for a sustainable city, quiet, clean and spacious, is increasingly gaining momentum. Electric mobility makes that possible. The use of compact and silent vehicles opens up space for the pedestrian and cyclist. The only issue is its affordability, as electric vehicles are not produced yet in large numbers. Altreonic, a technological SME from Flanders/Belgium, has developed the solution. It offers a large and flexible variety of electric vehicles, named KURT. Based on a patented design for a modular and scalable vehicle, Altreonic is able to meet the needs of any application.

The key to success

Electric propulsions are compact by definition. Therefore, it does not make sense to integrate electric engines in traditional designs without changing the design itself. That is why Altreonic’s KURT vehicle was reinvented from scratch. The KURT vehicle is equipped with wheels that all have their own engine. As a result, there is more space for the batteries and suspension that are compactly stored in the supporting structure. Most of the weight is situated in the  vehicle’s body, a low and flat platform. Each wheel can be controlled separately, which creates much more possibilities than currently exist with traditional internal combustion engines. The structure of KURT is not only modular but also scalable. The superstructure can be specifically adapted to a wide array of applications.

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Steer by Web for KURT

Altreonic has demonstrated for the first time “steer by web” capability for its KURT vehicle. Using a camera input and a smartphone, the vehicle was remotely steered over internet using a web application. Even with the application server and the vehicle being widely apart (about 3000 km) and using a standard ADSL connection, the control was with minimal delay. This brings KURT in the domain of Internet of Things, enabling semi-autonomous driving for a fleet of KURT vehicles.

The KURT light-weight vehicle is completely modular and driven by a redundant software and hardware architecture. Internally, Altreonic’s VirtuosoNext network-centric RTOS is used to execute the distributed control strategy of 4 independent wheels each with their own motor. Further work will focus on increasing security and error resilience. For more information, contact Altreonic.