Photo Credit: Volvo CE

VIDEO Students challenged to pull 100-ton Volvo hauler using only LEGO bricks


Wednesday, September 15, 2021 4:26:00 PM

It seemed impossible, they said it couldn't be done… but leave it to some of the brightest young minds to come up with a solution. In an audacious engineering challenge set by Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) in collaboration with LEGO Technic®, young people from around the world united to take on this fiendishly difficult task.

Devised by engineering experts from both Volvo CE and LEGO Technic®, the MOVE IT challenge was proposed to a dedicated team of young robotics students to move the world's biggest articulated hauler, the Volvo A60H – a 43 ton hauler loaded with an extra 45 tons of rocks – across a distance of 50 meters, using only LEGO Technic® elements. In a bid to showcase the incredible potential of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) brainpower, it was not an easy task.

Using a total of 728,168 LEGO Technic® pieces connected together under a layer of steel plates and transmitting signals to 1,920 motors, 35 budding engineers created enough power on their rolling motorized grid to pull the machine's six heavy-duty wheels across the required distance in just 30 minutes.

Frida Jönsson, Engineer at Volvo CE, who has been involved in the scheme from the very start, says: "The students showed incredible resilience and tenacity. In total they spent more than 2,000 hours of their own time to come up with a hard-fought solution that could create a pulling force of 10,000 Newtons in order to get the hauler moving."





Over three months, four teams of children from all backgrounds all over the world – US, Sweden, Japan and Nigeria – collaborated across time zones, language barriers and a distance of 20,000 miles between them to work on this engineering challenge. Each team was sent the 2,193-piece LEGO Technic® model version of the real Volvo A60H and given 12 weeks to build a prototype model strong enough to move the 43-ton heavyweight. And just to make the task even harder, an extra 45 tons of rocks were added to the machine.

At a time when getting a good network during a video conferencing call seems enough of a challenge, they proved that remote working is no barrier to being able to brainstorm ideas and come to a viable solution.

"Our aim is to stimulate a love of STEM and showcase that there really is no limit to what the next generation of engineers can achieve if they put their minds together," says Arvid Rinaldo, Brand Partnership at Volvo CE. "These incredibly smart people were able to solve our challenge without even meeting in person. We had set out to educate and motivate young people, but knowing how to solve complicated tasks like this without ever seeing each other is something we all need to learn in business and something they demonstrated with ease."

This is not the first collaboration between the two major Scandinavian brands. They also worked with youngsters to create an autonomous concept wheel loader back in 2018.

SOURCE: Volvo CE