When it comes to making sure motorists are sitting comfortably in the new Fiesta, the ‘Robutt’ is here to ensure Ford’s engineers aren’t given a bum steer.
‘He’ – because Robutt is based on an average-sized large man – has been designed to simulate 10 years of driving in just three weeks. But the Robutt goes much further than merely sitting down and getting up again.
Instead, the robotic bottom learns to get in and out of cars the same way as real drivers and passengers, with pressure maps used to establish a so-called ‘perch pattern’.
Once Robutt has played musical chairs no fewer than 25,000 times, Ford should be able to eliminate wear and tear from its seats, helping you to remain comfortable for longer.
Svenja Froehlich, a durability engineer at Ford’s European headquarters in Cologne, is tasked with keeping Robutt’s bum in gear and is undoubtedly pleased with her new recruit.
“From the first moment we get into a car, the seat creates an impression of comfort and quality. 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.”
Thanks to Robutt, the days of saggy bottoms and worn bolsters should be behind us. And that’s something we can all raise a glass to. Bottoms up!