Cologne, Germany — Ford’s Robutt issetting the standard for heat and humidity aering in vehicle seat materials.
Ford is using the Robutt in a test to ensure that vehicle seats are not affected when they are used by drivers who are hot and sweaty after exercise.
‘Cars are a part of our everyday lives, and for many people that includes physical activity,’ said Florian Rohwer, development engineer, body and chassis labs, at Ford of Europe.
‘The Robutt helps us develop vehicle seats that look good even after years of intensive use.’
Initially, the car maker developed the Robutt to ensure that the materials it used for car seats could withstand decades of mechanical wear. Now, engineers in the the Ford Development Center in Cologne-Merkenich have further developed the test system.
It now simulates what happens when hot people sit in their cars. Robutt’s shape and pressure profile mimics a mid-sized man.
During the test, the Robutt is attached to a robot and heated to 36° C and soaked in 450 cm3 of water. The robot then presses the Robutt down on the seat 7500 times over three days. The car-maker said that this accelerated method enables the system to simulate decades of vehicle use in three days.
The car maker used the Robutt for the first time to develop seats for the Ford Fiesta in 2018. The company expects to use it on all future European Ford model series.
By Gerhard Mauerer
This story first appeared in Automobilewoche