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Ford Motor Co. is using a robot to mimic a human’s perspiration-drenched derriere in order to test the durability of car seats.
Known simply as “Robutt,” the mechanical device was originally introduced in 2016 and has been upgraded to imitate a large adult male after an intense exercise session.
According to a video posted to the Ford Europe YouTube channel, the Robutt is first heated to 96.8 degrees F before being “soaked with 450 millilitres of water.”
The test, which is carried out over a three-day period, involves the damp robot moving itself around the seat approximately 7,500 times, a scenario meant to simulate 10-year’s worth of car use.
A blog post from Ford Europe states that the Robutt, originally tested on seats in the Fiesta model, will soon be used on all Ford vehicles across the continent.
Development engineer Florian Rohwer states the idea came in light of many folks’ New Year’s resolutions surrounding health and fitness.
“Cars are a part of our everyday lives, and at this time of year in particular, so is exercise,” Rohwer said. “The ‘Robutt’ is a great way to check our seats will look good for years to come.”
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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.