This is the GaiaX concept compact excavator unveiled by Volvo Construction Equipment at the Las Vegas Conexpo trade fair earlier this month. "This is the future of Volvo" they tell us, with great certainty.
Apparently the structure is inspired by Swedish furniture, with the operator’s seat formed from three-dimensional molded wood – a first in the construction equipment industry, apparently. Very Ikea.
It's also battery powered, keeping it clean and green.
“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 excavator is the first of a generation,” says Volvo CE design director Stina Nilimaa Wickström
Far more wowee and exciting than the strange structure, however, is the augmented reality operating system. It will be controlled by a tablet device which the operator can either sit with in the machine or wander around, for remote control, with the job to be done all programmed in.
I could explain how it works but you are really far better off watching the videos below. The first two are nice calm Scandinavian presentations. The third has a rather enthusiastic American presenter.