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Vollert Robot DER 100 „Leonhard Weiss“ shunting robot

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Vollert Robot DER 100 „Leonhard Weiss“

The robot locomotive in the model not only runs, but also uncouples the attached container wagons by remote control.

As part of the OcTRAINber 2021 "Critters" competition, I have created a remote-controlled LEGO model of the Vollert Robot DER 100 "Leonhard Weiss" robot locomotive.

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The real prototype and a first draft

While looking for a nice model for a "Critter", I stumbled across a small, modern shunting locomotive from Weinsberg in Baden-Württemberg. The company Vollert Anlagenbau GmbH, located there, has various shunting locomotives, one rather speaks of shunting robots, in their product range. I saw the compact DER 100 robot, which is in service for the company Leonhard Weiss, on the Stuttgart-Nuremberg railway line.

Without knowing the name of this rather strange-looking mini locomotive, I quickly found it by doing a Google search for "Leonhard Weiss Lok" (Leonhard Weiss locomotive) on www.eisenbahn​dienstfahrzeuge.de. This "robot" runs either electrically (batteries on board or via supply cable) or diesel-electrically. The total length is approx. 5.45 m and with a total weight of 44 tonnes, this locomotive is really not a heavy lump. But it can pull 2,400 tonnes.

And how good that I had already ordered the mini motors and the battery Bluetooth unit from Circuitcubes a while ago. So now there was finally a reason to use these tiny electrical devices in a MOC. Since two motors are included in the Bluetooth Upgrade Kit, the second motor should be used in some way. One motor for the drive should be enough. What makes a shunting locomotive? It shunts wagons back and forth and puts them down again. If you don't want to have your fingers in the layout all the time, you have to outsmart the magnetic coupling somehow. A search in the Technic box returned a small linear actuator. This was connected directly to the circuitcube motor. It couldn't be more compact.

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Larger O-rings

To prevent the motor from getting stuck on points and the like, I put slightly larger O-rings (outer diameter 17.8 mm) from the DIY store on the wheels. This gives a little more air between the motor and the tracks.

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Design process

After the functional components are up and running, the next thing I do is the design. This robot is not really "chic" in any way, but on closer inspection the boxy shape is a challenge for the realisation with LEGO bricks. Especially the dark grey triangle between the front and the side wall gave me a bit of a headache at first.

I solved the narrow triangle with a double cheese corner, a Technic pin and a lightsaber. More is simply not possible in the smallest space. It's a good thing that the windows have air on the sides and so the droid arms can fit through this slot and hold the cheese corner.

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Weight brick inside

To get a bit more traction, I also added a 2 x 6 weight brick to the interior, now it's quite packed inside. It's good that the driver doesn't have to get in there as well, it's a remote controlled robot after all.

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Vollert Robot with container wagons

To give the robot something to move, I continued to use the prototype on eisenbahn​dienstfahrzeuge.de and so in a short time I built the Schmitz-Cargobull excavation containers from the Stuttgart 21 project, the corresponding flat wagons, a Liebherr reachstacker for unloading and moving and finally an unbranded truck, which takes one container at a time to the dump.

You can see what this looks like in the prototype in this video. The realisation in the LEGO room looks like this:

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Liebherr Reachstacker on duty

The Liebherr reachstacker unloads the containers from the flat wagons.

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Liebherr Reachstacker

Special vehicle Liebherr Reachstacker

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Container truck

The truck takes the containers on to the landfill site.

A building instruction for my Vollert Robot DER 100 is available as PDF download: HolgerMatthes_instructions_Vollert-Robot-DER-100.pdf (20 pages, ca. 5,3 MB)

Part list as Excel sheet (XLSX): Download

Part list as PDF (PDF): Download

The PDF is password protected. I will send you the password to open it by e-mail. Please use the contact form for enquiries.

I do not guarantee the correctness of the parts lists!

Building and selling my models

My building instructions are available for free. Building these models is only allowed for personal use. Building these models with the purpose of selling them and make your own profit is prohibited.


Drive: 1x Circut Cubes Cubit Motor, Bluetooth Hub
Type: 7-wide, small shunting locomotive with remote decoupling
Train Wheels: Standard train wheels with larger o-rings
Total Length: ~12,5 cm
Year of Construction: 2021