Volvo LX03 wheel loader prototype: the intelligent future of construction?28 October 2021

This fully autonomous, battery-electric prototype by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is the first real-world example of a self-learning concept wheel loader with the brains to make decisions, perform tasks, and interact with humans. It is also the first time ever a LEGO Technic model has been turned into a real machine. While not commercially available, engineers expect that valuable insights from the LX03 will feed into applications for today and tomorrow.

What started out as a project between designers and engineers at the two companies, to explore the potential for future construction, evolved over time with the help of a team of children into the successful launch of the 42081 LEGO Technic Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX.

The LX03 has been built by a dedicated team of engineers and programmers from Volvo CE sites in Eskilstuna, Sweden and Konz, Germany, in collaboration with the design team in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is a 5-tonne wheel loader (working load: 2t) that has been developed as a modular concept, with the capability of being made larger or smaller with just one or two changes to the manufacturing process. It also shares its driveline with the L25 Electric, making it a zero emission, low-noise machine with a runtime of up to eight hours depending on its application.

It is designed to be a smart and safe worker, equipped with a brain that has the capacity to adapt to different scenarios, make decisions in real-time and most importantly collaborate with humans. It can be programmed by customers to complete heavy, repetitive or dangerous tasks, reducing the need for a human on site.

The LX03’s scissor frame is a unique feature that allows the machine greater freedom of movement and increased efficiency. It also offers a unique bucket sequence, whereby the 1.5m3 bucket can be filled by simply lowering the rear part, or counterweight, of the machine, requiring no work from the loading unit at the front and providing improved stability during the loading process.

When it comes to emptying the load, the counterweight, which also doubles as the battery pack, can then by lifted off the ground allowing the bucket to reach much further over the load receiver than a conventional machine. This motion pattern improves energy efficiency, because it not only allows the machine to use its own weight to create greater lifting power, but also allows for larger bucket fills thereby reducing the loading cycle.

Operations Engineer

Related Companies
Volvo Construction Equipment Ltd

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