Lego, Volvo Team for Kid-Tested Machine
Volvo Construction Equipment and LEGO Technic construction toys have teamed up to design a modern, autonomous construction machine.
The LEGO Technic Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX began as an informal team building project and grew into a prototype for real-world building tools. The company presented early drawing and models to a focus group made up of children and used their feedback to inform new unique features including the scout drone and the adjustable “camera” boom, which is able to make eye contact with humans, and sits atop of the vehicle.
"We have enjoyed a truly fun and productive collaboration with the LEGOTechnic team over the past few years,” says Arvid Rinaldo, brand communication and partnerships, Volvo CE. “It allowed us to test ideas for new types of construction machines for the future, both in terms of functionality, scale, design and interaction. This model may seem futuristic now, but autonomous, connected and electric construction machines are already starting to be a reality. The Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX is a realistic next step in the exciting evolution of our construction machine. We wanted to cooperate with a premium toy manufacturer, just as we are a premium player in the construction equipment sector. Volvo CE and the LEGO Group together create a perfect match, both culturally and in what we try to achieve in our products - exploring together how we can build tomorrow."
Key product details include:
- Working boom and bucket;
- Moving counterweight by raising and lowering chassis;
- Comes with a mapping drone;
- Articulated four-wheel steering;
- Building instructions for an alternative model, a Volvo Concept Hauler PEGAX, will be available online;
- 1167 elements;
- Facilitates co-play: the main and alternative models are both designed for construction site play so the two can work together;
“When you cross a busy road, you watch out for dangers and try to make eye contact with drivers in your immediate vicinity. It's an instinctive reaction that lets you evaluate your next move,” says Andrew Woodman, senior design manager, LEGO Technic. “Should you stay where you are, or is it safe to move? It's usually an easy assessment. With autonomous vehicles, you don't have that interaction because you can't see all the sensors that allow them to navigate around both stationary and moving objects. It's not intuitive for us to decode what the vehicle's next move is, where it's going, or if it has seen us. While the Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX will not be driving on roads, it would be interacting with workers at a construction site. So we set out to create features and functions that make the interaction between humans and machines as safe and intuitive as possible.”
The LEGO Technic Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX will be in toy stores, at all markets, in August.