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Ford runs test with robutt to evaluate seats

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford, in an effort to measure how seats hold up, created a robotic butt to run the tests.


Ford is guaranteeing that the new Fiesta will be the only place you’ll want to sit. They are even utilizing a robot complete with a humanlike behind to test the comfort and quality of their seats.

The robot, appropriately referred to as “Robutt” was created in the shape of the average large man. The Robutt continuously sits up and down, simulating how people get in and out of a car. It may seem like an arbitrary test, but the comfort of car seats have a major impact on the overall experience.

Ford estimates that over the span of ten years, a person will get in and out of their car at least 25,000 times. That’s 25,000 chances to be more comfortable while driving. Each time we sit, our bodies create an impression in our seats and material adjusts over time.

The robot simulations are more realistic than Ford’s previous tests, which relied on pneumatic cylinders that repeatedly moved up and down.

Svenja Froelich, one of the durability engineers at Ford’s European headquarters, shares her satisfaction with the new “jiggly butt” robot.

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“We’re able to replicate very accurately how people really behave.” As a durability engineer, Froelich analyzes the movement of the robot and studies how people get in and out of their vehicle. As the tests are repeated, durability engineers build pressure maps to study how the seats wear over time.

This helps them measure the comfort and quality of their seat and make adjustments as needed. Froelich is proud that the seats are one of the most tested pieces of the Fiesta car.

Time is of the essence for Ford, especially when they need to test the seats a minimum of 25,000 times to ensure they’re right. The Robutt has come in handy to save time as it can simulate human behavior over the span of a decade in just a few short weeks.

Ford is planning to keep the Robutt as a part of their seat testing for all Ford cars in Europe in the future. Perhaps they’ll make the behind of robots in the future even more lifelike.

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Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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