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article imageFord's car seat tester adds 'seat-butt sweat test'

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2019 in Technology
Some cars are more comfortable than others and there is one comfort factor that people often shy away from asking about - 'will I sweat a lot when sitting on this car seat?' Now Ford have a technology solution for this.
The solution from Ford is a robotic device designed to test the comfort factor for car seats, in terms of overall layout, sturdiness and whether the type of fabric used in parallel with the overall design of the seat is likely to make you excessively perspire. In more cruder terms, this is a robotic butt-assessment device that has something analogous to sweat glands built in to its structure.
Ford having being using a device called the Robutt since 2017, to test its car seats. This is a type of robotic arm that can have various seat materials, such as the cushion, affixed to its end. The robot can assess physical measurements, such as pressure and impact, to determine if the seat is both safe and comfortable. The robot can also account for durability, enabling it to assess if the car seat will last the ten years that Ford typically guarantees. The life-time test is an accelerated one, subjecting the cushion to extreme impact, so that a three week test can mirror stability over what would be a decade in practice.
The video shows a Robutt in action:
For 2019, Ford have enhanced the abilities of the Robutt, according to The Verge. The Robutt can now sweat. Through this new test, the cushioning is heated to 36 degrees Celsius (just under the human body’s temperature) and half a liter of water is fed passed through the seat material fabric.
This second video shows the new 'sweat Robutt' in action:
Motherboard reports that the moistened surface is rubbed on the seat using a robotic arm 7,500 times over three days. As with the physical test, this is designed to represent approximately one decade of a driver’s perspiration on the seat.
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