This all-terrain, driverless Lego building automobile may very well be our future


Vida András used about 3,100 Lego bricks for his Volvo Rottweiler.

Volvo Development Tools

The Volvo Rottweiler is an autonomous building automobile that may work in tough terrain. It is outfitted with a 3D printer that creates the supplies it makes use of to assemble buildings. And it is manufactured from Lego bricks.

Vida András, a 27-year-old Romanian architect, designed the Rottweiler for a contest run by Lego Technic and Volvo Development Tools. The competition was run on Lego Concepts, a web site the place followers enter competitions and submit their very own designs within the hopes  they’re going to be common sufficient to be made commercially accessible. Entrants have been invited to think about the development machines of the long run by figuring out tomorrow’s issues and making a machine that may deal with them. 

The Rottweiler took first prize out of 122 entries submitted from the world over. Lego most lately teamed up with Volvo Development Tools for the Zeux, a self-driving idea wheel loader launched by Lego Technic in 2018.

The imposing Rottweiler measures 32x24x32 inches (80x60x80 centimeters) and took 3,100 Lego bricks to construct. With its 4 legs and removable head, it seems to be extra prefer it escaped from a sci-fi film than a constructing web site. That is no accident. The judges have been searching for futuristic designs, and András wished to create one thing that evoked energy and performance.

“The power of it and the usefulness of it appeals to me essentially the most,” he stated.

The Rottweiler and 9 different contest entries are presently on show at London’s Transport Museum.

Fixing tomorrow’s issues

Whereas different industries have embraced 3D printing, András says it hasn’t been used to its full potential but in building. 3D printing may very well be used to experiment with new construction concepts and permit architects to design buildings utilizing shapes which can be “virtually inconceivable to type by hand.”

The 3D printer can be key to the Rottweiler’s environment-conscious method. “3D printing is a method of lowering the manufacturing waste,” says András. He describes 3D printing as virtually wasteless from supply materials to remaining product, including that it might assist scale back air pollution from factories.

Volvo Icarus model

The Volvo Icarus is a cell solar energy plant.

Volvo Development Tools

Runner-up James Cox of London created the Volvo Icarus, a cell photo voltaic plant with off-road capabilities. It is 39x24x16 inches (100x60x40 centimeters) and used about 4,000 Lego bricks. Cox says the identify began out as a form of joke — “trigger clearly I did not fly too near the solar” — however it suited his idea and sounded cool. So he saved it.

Like András, Cox wished his entry to deal with the challenges posed by local weather change.

“As a result of the idea was to make a machine for the long run, I believed if issues aren’t environmentally pleasant — if they are not clear, if they are not environmentally secure — they are not going to work as a result of fossil fuels will run out. Environmental requirements are going to grow to be stricter. We’d like a method round it, and it must be one thing that may work anyplace.”

Cox conceived the Icarus as a solar energy generator. He then determined to make it cell, including the off-road chassis after he’d constructed the mechanics for the photo voltaic array.

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András and Cox took the mechanical design course of severely, each emphasizing the analysis concerned and the sensible aspect of their work. Each began with a drawing, however then their approaches diverged.

András created the Rottweiler utilizing a digital constructing software. The design did not grow to be a bodily actuality till he gained the competitors and Lego despatched him the items required to create it. In the meantime Cox labored freehand, constructing the Icarus with bodily blocks. When he submitted his entry, he included a video of the cell energy plant in motion.

“Quite a lot of entries are digital they usually do not truly exist they usually do not truly work,” Cox says. “So I made certain that it had a video so you possibly can see each single half that was listed. You would see it working.”

Volvo Rottweiler

The Volvo Rottweiler is a four-legged reply to tomorrow’s building challenges.

Volvo Development Tools

Impressing the judges

It takes quite a bit to create a prize-winning Lego mannequin: You want the creativeness to deal with a design problem. You want the sensible information to carry your imaginative and prescient to life. And also you want the completed product to look superb.

However there is no such factor as a “typical” Lego builder. Some entrants are skilled design engineers or graphic designers, however that is not at all times the case. One of many runner-up fashions is a provider drone created by a 13-year-old.

This wasn’t the primary rodeo for both András or Cox. Each designers have gained and positioned in earlier Lego competitions and each have an thought of easy methods to catch a decide’s eye.

András says he took on an enormous problem with the Rottweiler. As a substitute of constructing a digger or a bulldozer, he used the Rottweiler’s removable heads to make it a multipurpose machine. The formidable method paid off.

“The key to wow a Lego decide is attempt to not wow a Lego decide,” András stated. “The perfect factor you are able to do is … simply assemble what wows you. And in case you have 100% confidence in your building, I believe it’ll attain its objective and I believe it’ll wow all people if it wows you.”

He additionally has an thought of how he might take the idea additional. He wish to add playability features, maybe truly making it drivable, making the arm movable or utilizing a Lego Mindstorm laptop to make it programmable.

In the meantime, Cox had some sensible recommendation for anybody who needs to get forward in a Lego competitors: Go huge or go residence.

“It is gotta look good. It is gotta look spectacular. And it is gotta… simply look huge,” he says. Sure, you are able to do one thing intelligent with a small design, but when it does not look nice, it simply will not have the identical affect.

András was additionally happy with his creation’s look, describing the Rottweiler’s animalistic look as one in every of his favourite options.

Judges from Lego and Volvo evaluated the entries primarily based on how properly the fashions have been constructed, how futuristic their functionalities have been and the way thrilling they appeared. Arvid Rinaldo, who works in model communication and partnerships at Volvo Development Tools, highlighted the successful designs’ distinctive options and use of futuristic know-how.

“It is virtually like they arrive out of a science-fiction film,” he stated. “It is actually inspiring for our engineers to see … what folks from everywhere in the world can do.”

The Rottweiler and Icarus ideas are actually on show on the London Transport Museum alongside eight extra futuristic Lego fashions. The Future:Construct exhibit is open by way of Could 16.

Initially revealed Could 14. 


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