Each year, BTH students have a joint project with Stanford University students. This year’s project has been carried in cooperation with Volvo Construction Equipment.
Now, the students are ready to leave for Stanford to complete and present the project at the annual event Stanford EXPE (expe.stanford.edu) for teachers, businesses and venture capitalists in the heart of Silicon Valley.
This year’s project has been carried out with and on behalf of Volvo Construction Equipment, which, with its Concept Lab, uses methods such as Design Thinking, developed with BTH and Stanford, to incorporate and identify customers and future users in early stages, thereby exploring concepts that can be the innovations that Volvo CE can offer customers in the future.
The project has focused on the worker at the site and its tasks and everyday lives will change, now that trends such as automation, electrification and digitization change the construction industry. For example, most of the major cities in the world like Paris and Mexico City will ban diesel around 2025. This means that Volvo CE needs to redefine its product, for example, with regard to driveline, and also automate certain products. This means that the worker in place will become a colleague with his robotized machine, which will change the view of the tasks and how to support them.
The students initially got the task of starting from a construction site and observing and listening to those working there to find aspects of their daily work with the greatest potential for radical innovation. What job do they need to perform today and how will it change in the future?
Without being restricted by the design of today’s engine fleet at Volvo CE, the students have explored the need to support the new connected, electrified and automated fleet that will be found in the future’s construction sites. Developing concepts and solutions for managing dynamic connectivity, battery replacement, and other unforeseen interference in a continuously changing environment, can support the worker in maintaining uninterrupted operation, which is a great potential for automation of the site.
In the course, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, global teams with students embrace real-world design challenges conducted by business partners. Students face a problem that lies ahead of product development and explores user needs, benefits and social consequences in a system perspective. During the course of the year, the design space is explored through many concepts and prototypes tested with users to produce radically innovative solutions. In the end, a fully functional proof-of-concept is being developed, which is demonstrated at the end of EXPE.
Together with Volvo CE, BTH has collaborated with Stanford for the last six years.
28 May 2018