Simulates 10 years of butt wear
Ford’s cupholders go through millions of miles of testing, so it’s no surprise the automaker also puts its seats through the paces. To test the durability of seats in the new Fiesta, Ford enlisted a robot aptly named “Robutt.” Now, the automaker is rolling out the test to all of its vehicles in Europe.
Using pressure maps, Ford analyzed how real people sit in car seats to create a similar pattern for the “Robutt” to follow. The robot, based on a large man, can simulate ten years of use in just three weeks by mimicking how drivers and passengers get in and out of cars. This process involves the robotic bottom sitting down and getting up about 25,000 times.
“From the first moment we get into a car, the seat creates an impression of comfort and quality,” said Svenja Froehlich, a durability engineer at Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, Germany. “Previously, we used pneumatic cylinders that simply moved up and down. With the ‘Robutt’, we are now able to replicate very accurately how people really behave.”
Perhaps even more important than durability, “Robutt” helps Ford determine the comfort of its seats. When “Robutt” sits down, Ford measures the deflection and softness of the seat cushion.
Check out the video below to see exactly how “Robutt” works.