GaiaX – Making Excavation Possible To All
Following the launch of the Sfinx excavator concept few years ago, Volvo Construction Equipment has proved that their concepts are not just designs and ideas on papers or animated videos uploaded on Youtube. While Volvo has been a leader with its futuristic concepts, other construction equipment companies have been presenting their concepts while clearly being inspired from Volvo’s designs and vision for the future. In March 2014, during ConExpo, Las Vegas, Volvo CE introduced GaiaX; the first concept prototype of a compact excavator.
GaiaX, inspired from the Greek mythology as its VCE predecessor concept names such as Sfinx, Fenix, Gryphin and Centaur, is the creator and giver of birth to the Earth and the Universe. From here, comes the underlined connection between GaiaX and the Earth. The compact excavator is electrical, powered by a battery cell on its back that serves as a counterweight as well. Machine can operate while charging the battery or plugging it in whenever possible. This makes GaiaX not only environmentally-friendly, zero-emitting machine but also a noise-free concept.
Designers of GaiaX, led by Design Director Stina Nilimaa Wickström, figured and built a machine that guarantees “zero-emission, zero-accidents and zero-unplanned stops while improving efficient operation of the machine” according to Wickström. It is also important to have less-people around the machine ensuring the highest levels of safety possible. In order to do so, GaiaX team developed the HMI, human-machine interface, remote controller to separate operator from the machine. Operator introduces site information gathered from ground scanners to the HMI, which only then assists the operator completing his excavation task remotely and autonomously. Operator’s assistance is only needed in critical and delicate situations.
“We know quite well what the operator needs now, but we need to predict the future needs and answer them” said Wickström. GaiaX will revolutionize the construction/contracting industry and pave the future for the construction equipment industry. Sidney Levy, one of the Chief Designers, added during an interview at ConExpo 2014 talking about the futuristic features of GaiaX, “whether it’s a good idea or not, we don’t know; but we really wanted to push the boundaries”. This highlights the ambitious and innovative culture of Volvo CE’s designers.
To read more about GaiaX, visit http://www.volvoce.com/constructionequipment/na/en-us/newsmedia/tradeshows/ConExpo/Press%20Releases%20and%20News/Pages/GaiaXconceptcompactexcavatortakesinspiration.aspx
or watch on Youtube
TEST AND RUN
Now, I would like to invite you to download the application Volvo CE has developed to assist the creation of GaiaX concept. It is definitely a technological breakthrough and I GUARANTEE IT WILL STUN YOU.
Application is currently available on both Apple Store and Google Play for free.
Search for “Volvo GaiaX Concept Machine” and download it.
Then visit this link and print the page http://cex-conexpo.appspot.com/target/target.pdf
Open the application and point at the page you have printed, and enjoy an augmented 3D reality of the futuristic GaiaX and get the chance to operate it. Pictures below are screenshots from my experience with this application.
Please be sure to leave your comments on the application and GaiaX’s vision and technology.
What do you think of GaiaX?
How do you feel about a joystick free machine?
Do you think GaiaX will find its share in tomorrow’s market?