At the CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 event, John Deere and the BMW Group subsidiary, Designworks, gave attendees a look at the futuristic design of the backhoe through augmented and virtual reality devices.
The two companies collaborated to create “Fixstern,” a concept that shows how the backhoe may one day evolve according to emerging materials and technology. Fixstern – the German word for “fixed star” – is a term that BMW adopted for its research and design process.
"We wanted to stretch and challenge ourselves to innovate in new ways, and what better platform to showcase this forward-thinking design than at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017," said Doug Meyer, global director of product engineering at John Deere Construction & Forestry. "We worked closely with our backhoe customers to apply their input to ensure the Fixstern solutions address future customer and industry needs in performance, efficiency and environmental compliance."
John Deere and Designworks had four goals in mind as they created Fixstern. First, they wanted to ensure that the backhoe of the future was robust. Next, they wanted to reduce weight by a minimum of 20 percent and the backhoe’s environmental impact by 10 percent. Afterward, they strived to enhance the user experience through features, such as interior spaciousness. Finally, the companies worked to ensure that the backhoe addressed changing market demands with its versatility.
Now that the Fixstern has been completed and exhibited, John Deere hopes the backhoe has a “halo effect” in the ideas that spread from backhoes to other machines.