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[VIDEO] Volvo Showcases Futuristic Excavator Concept

The mining industry is adapting to new concepts and Volvo is showcasing what the future of excavators may soon look like.The automaker teamed up with Sw...

Admin
|Aug 5|magazine5 min read

The mining industry is adapting to new concepts and Volvo is showcasing what the future of excavators may soon look like.

The automaker teamed up with Swedish industrial design house ‘Prospective Design’ to develop the excavator of the future. The two teams talked with equipment operators to learn what features and functions they would like to see on a machine --whether they were possible or not. What they came up with is one part space age and another part primordial.

Titled the SfinX Project, the futuristic excavator features an array of innovative components never seen before. The machine utilizes a small fuel cell that produces electric energy (emitting only heat and water vapor) and the boom is transparent aiding to safety by reducing the operator’s blind spot caused by solid metal booms. The SfinX adopts four tracks with each track having a separate wheel motor, which can brake, accelerate and allow the track to steer the excavator.

In addition the machine will include GPS based telematic capabilities along with ‘Geo-fencing’ to ensure the machine never leaves a predetermined area. The excavator will also utilize fly-by-wire technology enabling no physical links between the driver controls and the components they operate. Instead commands would be sent wirelessly to sensors on the components or via electric wires.

One of the most unique components to the SfinX Project is the cab. Built to improve all round visibility, the cab will have the capacity to tilt and move away from the machine or be left on the ground entirely. It would include a detachable cab that would come down to meet the operator. Also in the mix would be screens inside the cab to give the operator a view of the work environment.

Although the SfinX Project is merely a combination of futuristic ideas, it gives us a peek inside what mining equipment could eventually resemble. If the future of excavators entails anything like the SfinX Project, the mining industry is in good hands with Volvo.