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From a LEGO Toy to a Real Autonomous Machine: Meet the Volvo Wheel Loader LX03

The LX03 is the world's first self-learning concept wheel loader capable of making decisions, completing tasks, and interacting with humans on its own. The autonomous wheel loader is also the first LEGO Technic model turned into a fully functional machine.
Volvo prototype LX03 6 photos
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This futuristic construction vehicle was inspired by ZEUX, a concept born from the skilled hands of Volvo and LEGO Technic engineers and designers. The project started in 2016 when a group of enthusiastic kids expressed their vision for an autonomous wheel loader. The resulting product was a design with a bunch of realistic features that looked almost too good to be a LEGO kit.

So the toy found its way into the real world. The new LX03 is a 5-ton wheel loader that Volvo developed with a modular approach in mind. That means it has the capability of being made larger or smaller with little adjustments to the manufacturing process.

Volvo built the machine with components based on the existing L25 Electric drivetrain. It resulted in a fully-electric, low-noise construction vehicle with a runtime of up to eight hours. In addition, the wheels feature integrated sensors to keep the vehicle's balance. While providing great traction, they also allow the LX03 to control the direction of the wheels' rim-pull, which is useful when working in a pile, for example.

The Swedish produced developed the vehicle as a heavy-duty robot with a brain capable of adapting to different conditions, making real-time judgments, and working with humans. As a result, the LX03 can be configured to perform various tasks, including heavy, repetitive, or dangerous operations, reducing the need for human assistance.

Volvo already has several autonomous vehicles in commercial use and out in the field. The wheel loader is the latest to join the lineup of autonomous and semi-autonomous concepts that the company hopes to implement into future job sites.

For now, the LX03 is just a prototype, and it's not commercially available. However, Volvo's engineers will use the vehicle to gain insight that will be added to future machines and applications.

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