Construction Equipment GLOBAL
Volvo concept vehicle GaiaX

Gaiax compact excavator CONCEPT

The compact excavator of the future

GaiaX compact excavator concept

The fully electric, zero emission GaiaX is fitted with rechargeable batteries but can also be used while plugged in to an external electrical power source. It’s easy to operate, providing the ultimate in comfort, efficiency, productivity and safety.

This is a machine, designed to work in harmony with nature, with minimal environmental impact, and that cares for the user and site staff, keeping them safe from harm. The user-centric GaiaX is thoroughly minimalistic with plenty of ‘air’ in the design and no more structural features than are required to carry out the job. The traditional cab is replaced by a lightweight steel guard rail, while the rechargeable battery alone acts as counterweight to the arm and boom. The wooden seat likewise encourages a symbiotic relationship between the operator and machine, while the wood’s natural flexibility helps to absorb any bumps or vibrations.
Remote operation

Operators can still sit on the excavator in the traditional way – required for precise movements and transport – but most applications can be carried out remotely using an augmented reality tablet computer. The main benefit of this transparent, iPad-like device is that only one person is required to use the machine – the operator can dig and keep an eye on the surrounding environment at the same time. Remote operation also allows the machine to be used in potentially dangerous situations, while the operator maintains a safe distance.

Ground scanner
The augmented reality tablet will be mapped with the city’s utility systems, showing the exact location of water pipes and electrical cables on screen and allowing the operator to visualize the work before it is carried out using segmented reality. A ground scanner provides precise information on obstacles to guarantee the effectiveness of auto-dig modes and projects images onto the ground to show the worksite and mark safe zones for the operator and passersby. The tablet will also connect to other machines in the fleet to provide a more effective way of working.
Safety features

Passers-by are protected by warning sensors that alert the operator to their presence while an airbag – inspired by the side airbags used in Volvo cars – inflates from the seat to shield the operator in case of collisions, roll-over or falling objects. The machine is also equipped with an integrated first aid kit. The orange guard rails command the attention of those around the job site for a high degree of safety.

The GaiaX project has been an incredible opportunity for us to experiment with the way construction equipment is used – we feel as if we are paving the way to the future of Volvo and perhaps the industry too.

Sidney Levy

Design director at Volvo CE

A look behind the scenes

Our design team were challenged to work in different ways by collaborating with a Swedish furniture designer. Meet the designers and the innovators in this behind-the-scenes video, and hear their stories and ideas on how the GaiaX concept came to life.

Gaiax Concept Machine App

Download the free Volvo Gaiax App and explore the concept machine and its interface on your Android or iPad tablet. Point your camera at the printed target and take a look around the Volvo GaiaX. You can then explore the machine's features and operate the boom and arm on the recreated machine interface.
Download Android tablet app here
Download iPad app here

Volvo Construction Equipment
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