MAY 00] MIRA NEWS
Bottom Falls Out Of Car Seat Testers Market
giant electronic bottom is wiggling on car seats in Warwickshire to
test them out for your future comfort.
THE KUKA 150
TESTING A SEAT
huge robot has been taken on at MIRA in north Warwickshire to improve
the speed at which new seats can be checked out for safety, durability
machine, which wiggles in the car seat, can test up to seven different
seats at once.
KUKA 150, which has an Occubot “end-effector” attached to it, cost
almost £100,000 and is the first robot of its kind taken on at the
research centre, and the first offering this sort of test in Europe.
can test up to seven different kinds of seat at once, and can carry
out 30,000 cycles a week - equivalent to three lifetimes' wear and
tear for the driver’s seat in a family car.
machine can emulate normal everyday usage including getting in and
out of the car.
are 400 individual tests to which a full set of vehicle seats can be
subjected, although not all new seats undergo the maximum number of
KUKA 150 will be transported to Basildon at the end of June for the
official opening of the MIRA European Systems Test Operations.
will then return to MIRA’s test-and-development facility in the
centre of Nuneaton.
Bacon, who heads MIRA’s European Systems Test Operations, said:
of our first robot brings us enormous advantages and advances.
brings heightened reality to the seat test process thanks to the
programmability of the machine which allows it represent an almost
infinite range of occupant and vehicle combinations.
range from a well-built truck driver getting in and out of his van
to an average-sized construction worker driving an off-road vehicle
and youngster climbing in and out of family car seats.”
Bacon added that many tests require the upholstery to recover from 20
to 30 seconds, during which time a normal rig would have to remain
the KUKA 150 can be programmed to keep going and move to the next seat
have no doubt that this is the future of seat development and
testing and we are proud to be the first in Europe to offer the
car seat testers would also be grateful for the break.
have in the past employed humans to get in and out of cars. It’s
not a very pleasant job and few of us would want to go through this
routine 30,000 times.”