What started as LEGO Technic model is now a real machine. Volvo recently unveiled a fully autonomous, battery-electric prototype, the LX03.
Formerly referred to as ZEUX, the in-development machine 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.
The collaborative effort between Volvo and LEGO began in 2018, as the companies set to explore the potential future for construction. “Our two companies have enjoyed an extremely successful partnership over the years in which we have collaborated on several LEGO Technic models,” LEGO Group’s head of product for LEGO Technic, Niels Henrik Horsted, says. “But this is the first time we are making a real machine based on a model and not the other way around – and that is what makes this a truly unique project.” Even more remarkable – many of the original design elements were dreamed up by a team of kids.
Borrowing from Volvo's already robust EV offering, the 5-ton LX03 shares its driveline with the L25 electric wheel loader. The zero-emission, low-noise machine offers up to eight hours of runtime, depending on the application. It can be programmed to complete heavy, repetitive or dangerous tasks, reducing the need for a human on site.
“We need to transform the construction industry with smart and more sustainable solutions that will have an impact on a global scale,” Volvo CE President Milker Jernberg says. “The unveiling of the LX03 prototype today represents just that – and is testament to the incredible expertise of our engineers and our united commitment towards positive change. Together with the LEGO Group, we are pushing the boundaries of both technology and imagination, and the result is beyond anything the world has seen before.”
While the machine won’t be commercially available anytime soon, or maybe ever, it sets the stage for future concept machines for Volvo.