Joining a gym, taking an exercise class or breaking out the running kit are high on many people’s list of New Year’s resolutions.
But not everyone will want to – or be able to – have a shower before jumping in their car to go home afterwards.
Ford is making sure that all this good work isn’t bad news for your car seat with the help of a robotic bottom simulator called “Robutt”.
First used to ensure that the materials used in Ford’s car seats could withstand a decade’s regular dry wear and tear, engineers have now developed “Robutt” to simulate what happens when we get in our cars when we are a bit on the sweaty side.
“Cars are a part of our everyday lives, and at this time of year in particular, so is exercise,” said Florian Rohwer, development engineer, Body and Chassis Labs, Ford of Europe. “The ‘Robutt’ is a great way to check our seats will look good for years to come.”
For the sweat test, “Robutt” simulates a decade’s worth of car use in just three days as it sits, bounces and twists in the seat 7,500 times. Based on the dimensions of a large man, the robotic bottom is heated to 36° C, and soaked with 450 millilitres of water.
Introduced in 2018 for Fiesta, the “Robutt” seat test is now being rolled out for all Ford vehicles in Europe.