Using their imaginations to build their own unique creations with LEGO blocks is a happy childhood memory for many. But what if those same building blocks could be used to imagine the construction machines of the future? People from around the world were recently invited by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) and LEGO® Technic to come up with their own inventive concepts, and the incredible results were revealed earlier this month in FutuRE:BUILD, an exclusive exhibition at the London Transport Museum.
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 LEGO® Technic bricks. Once the wheels were set in motion, the public’s imaginations went wild. Highlighting the technical ingenuity of budding engineers young and old, the entries were whittled down to the top 10 models chosen by a panel of judges. Together they showcased a broad spectrum of technologies, including driverless automation, 3D printing, solar panels, and drones.
“We were overwhelmed with just how far people went with their creations,” said Arvid Rinaldo, Brand Communication & Partnerships, Volvo CE. “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 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.
“To me, the design is not just about playability, it’s about really exploring the potential for future technologies,” said András. “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, including members of LEGO® Technic and Volvo CE, 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. Winners ranged in ages from 14 to 47 and came from all corners of the globe — from the UK to Hungary and the U.S. to South Africa. Other winners included 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.