What will industrial machines of the future look like? And how will they perform? After inviting members of the public from around the world to come up with their own inventive concepts, Volvo CE and Lego Technic are displaying the incredible results for the first time in FutuRE:BUILD. This exclusive exhibition is at the London Transport Museum this week.
Highlighting the technical ingenuity of budding engineers young and old, the many entries have been whittled down to the top 10 models chosen by a panel of judges. Together they showcase a broad spectrum of technologies, including driverless automation, 3D printing, solar panels and drones. Inspired by the futuristic vision behind the Lego Technic Volvo Concept Wheel Loader ZEUX – entrants were asked to build their own models using at least 50% existing Technic bricks. And once the wheels were set in motion, the public’s imaginations went wild.
Arvid Rinaldo, (Brand Communication & Partnerships) at Volvo CE, says: “We were overwhelmed with just how far people went with their creations. The best-in-show were picked because they prove that the boundaries of our future construction machines are seemingly limitless. Some of these designs look like they have come straight out of a sci-fi movie. We are at an exciting point in time for the industry and these models are actually not too far removed from what could be coming to our construction sites of the future.”
The sheer breadth of concepts on display serve as inspiration to future generations of engineers.
The grand prize winner – Transylvanian native Vida András – is a 27-year-old Romanian architect who was inspired by the challenge of finding an environmental solution to construction machines and presenting that in the most elegant way. His self-driving model, the Volvo Rottweiler is fitted with a pneumatic drill, a dozer and a 3D printer – making it capable of autonomously taking on any construction challenge in the most hard-to-reach places.
He says: “To me, the design is not just about playability, it’s about really exploring the potential for future technologies. In my industry, 3D printing is one of the biggest trends at the moment, so I wanted to incorporate that into my model. I have 20 years’ experience playing with Lego sets. I’ve loved it forever and have always had this confidence that I could sit down and build for hours and eventually it would all come together in the end.”
A panel of judges critiqued the entrants on a number of factors: overall coolness and originality, most inspired details, relevance to the contest theme and best use of Lego elements. A truly diverse competition, winners range in ages from 14 to 47 and come from all corners of the globe from the UK to Hungary and the USA to South Africa. Other models on display include Volvo ICARUS, a mobile solar power plant with advanced off-road capabilities, and The Volvo Excavadrone built to operate on land and in the air.
Sam Mullins, Director for London Transport Museum, says: “We’ve all enjoyed the imaginative play of Lego bricks and I am sure our visitors will be thrilled to see these fantastic, futuristic creations. As well as offering a great day out, one of the key things we do at London Transport Museum is to turn childhood enthusiasm into a career in engineering. These driverless diggers will certainly inspire young minds.”