Robotics aren’t new to the automotive world, but Ford has a robot, and its shaped like a human butt, called the “Robutt,” and mimics how our butts move in and out of a car seat. How can we not talk about it?
It’s not that Ford wants to make a joke out of the Robutt. It has a legitimate purpose, according to the MIT Technology Review:
First, the automaker uses pressure sensors to measure how real people get into and out of cars. Then it gathers the results to create a model for a Kuka robot arm to repeat the process 25,000 times using a model ass that’s based on a large person. Ford says that represents 10 years of use, but the robot does it in just three weeks. Seats that pass the test are fit for use in cars.
In particular, the butt-miming robot was used relentlessly in Europe, reports Quartz, which says the Robutt sat on the Ford Fiesta’s seat design those 25,000 times.
“This, along with various other tests, allows us to analyze every strain a new Fiesta seat could endure in the real world,” a Ford durability engineer says in a video on the Robutt, which you can view below.
Quartz reports that another Robutt measures the seat’s comfortability, setting the stage for whatever joke you feel is appropriate to describe automation and robots taking over our world in the future.