Volvo Gaiax Concept

Operators can still sit on the excavator in a 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.

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.

The HMI will always suggest the most economical and ecologically friendly way to complete the work but will give the user the option of entering new requirements that are related to the task. For example, material may need removing from a certain area to allow for safe passage of other vehicles, or a larger excavation area may be required to provide better visibility.

The Gaiax compact electric excavator was unveiled at ConExpo in March 2014. This video presents the key design decisions that resulted in improved efficiency and safety while keeping CO2 emissions at zero.

Bringing GaiaX to life at ConExpo

A life-size model of the GaiaX was shown at ConExpo, Las Vegas in March and while the tracks, arm and boom will be static, visitors will be invited to test the concept HMI for themselves via a tablet computer. Apple and Android apps – available to download during and after the show – will also allow a 360° walk-around with zoom, and include augmented reality functions so that anyone can interact with the machine. A YouTube movie will show an animation of the machine in operation and the computer ecosystem around it.

The Gaiax compact electric excavator was unveiled at ConExpo in March 2014. This video presents how new technology will make excavation quicker, safer and more eco-friendly. 


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