While many parts of the car have changed radically over the years, car seats have not changed much. Now a new robot named “Robutt” will help design car seats that are more comfortable and convenient for passengers. It has been designed to move like a human bottom and replicates the manner in which drivers and passengers get in and out of their car seats. Engineers used pressure maps to develop a “perch pattern” that charts out the pressure points created when we sit and thus allows them to test the wear and tear of materials using the robotic bottom to mimic the most common paths.
Svenja Froehlich, a durability engineer, at Ford’s European HQ, in Cologne, Germany said that from the time we get into the car, the seat plays a significant role in the quality and comfort of the ride. Earlier, vehicle manufacturers used pneumatic cylinders that just moved up and down. With the use of the ‘Robutt’, designers not get a very accurate idea of what happens when people get in and out of their seats.
Based on the dimensions of an average-sized large man, the Robutt can simulate ten years of driving in just three weeks. This was used as part of the testing for the new model of the Ford Fiesta – with the “Robutt” sitting down and getting up 25,000 times. The new “Robutt” wil be used for testing all new Ford models.
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