Ford’s designers would probably prefer it if you were clean when you get in the car, but they know that sometimes you might be a bit sweaty – especially this time of year when people try to do more exercise.
To make sure your car seats will withstand the pre-shower drive home, Ford has created a robotic simulator of a sweaty bottom. And, yes, this may be one of the weirdest stories you read on this blog in 2019. The simulator, amusingly called ‘Robutt’, is the reason your seats will continue to look good for many years to come.
No matter how many times you use your new gym membership, you can rest assured that your car is prepared for it. The rigorous three-day testing schedule will see the Robutt pressed onto the car seat 7,500 times – equivalent to 10 years of sweaty journeys.
The Robutt seat test is based on the dimensions of a large man and, after being introduced on the Fiesta last year, it is now being rolled out in the development of all new cars. The simulator is heated to 36 degrees and soaked with almost a pint of water, which apparently gives quite a good representation of a sweaty human.
“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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