Ford ‘Robutt’ simulates 10 years of sweaty seat use

Ford Robutt seat testing

Answering the questions some of us, if not all, are asking, is Ford. Namely, ‘will getting into my car after a sweaty workout ruin the seats?’. As it’s 2019, the solution had to be high-tech and robotic and as it’s January, this isn’t an April fool… 

It’s not a solution as such, but the Ford ‘Robutt’ can simulate 10 year’s worth of seat abuse in the space of three days. Yes, that includes sweaty bums sliding in and out after perspiration-tastic sessions at the gym.

Ford Robutt seat testing

The device is quite literally a prosthetic bottom attached to a rig that is pressed into a lucky test seat. It simulates posterior-seat contact with twists and bounces over 7,500 times over three days.

Included in that is also 450 millilitres of water testing to simulate sweat. The Robutt is heated to 36 degrees and in terms of dimensions and weight, simulates that of a somewhat larger-framed person.

Does that make Ford the marque of choice for fitness enthusiasts? As hilarious as a robotic bottom designed to test the endurance of a seat sounds, to a degree, yes. If you’re a regular attendee of the gym, a runner or otherwise, it ought to be good to know that your seats are tested up to 10 year’s worth of abuse.

Of course, other manufacturers probably carry out similar endurance tests but this is an intriguing look at this back end, if you will, of car development.

Ford Robutt seat testing

It’s particularly timely, as Ford is eager to point out, given that early-to-mid January is the time of year when everyone is out getting sweaty per their fitness-themed New Year’s resolutions.

“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.”

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