October 27, 2017      

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Ford reaches out to you on Twitter introducing its new robot that helps design better car seats.

Meet “Robutt” the robot that, you guess it, mimics human buttocks. Ford uses Robutt in its “Cheeky Test” that simulates 10 years of sitting in a car seat in just three weeks.

A KUKA industrial robot arm lifts Robutt in and out of a seat 25,000 times over a three-week period. This helps Ford design seats that will help passengers remain comfortable for longer.

And people think robots aren’t here to help us.

“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 HQ 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.”

Robutt is apparently based on “an average-sized large man.” Engineers used pressure maps to establish a “perch pattern”, the data enabling them to test the wear and tear of materials, using Robutt to mimic the most common ways drivers get in and out of their cars.

Ford Robutt