Putting bums on seats - why these 'guys' do it 50,000 times a week
Published 30/03/2016 | 02:30
Imagine getting into a car 50,000 times a week.
I know it can feel that way some busy times when you are dropping children here and there and then picking them up and the shopping and . . . so on.
But Opel have been telling is about Bernd, Werner, Oliver and Marius who go through the motions of sitting in cars 50,000 times every week.
You've probably guessed that they are involved in research. Which is correct. And they are also robots.
They are tasked with putting their 'bums' on seats in the test lab of the Opel International Technical Development Centre in Rüsselsheim.
They comprise a friction pad covered with a "jeans-like material and a foam layer that simulate the human posterior and thighs".
And so they simulate getting into and out of cars 50,000 times a week.
And that, Opel tell us, is the equivalent of the number of times we get in and out of a car over its entire lifecycle.
It's a lot of coming and going.
Obviously at this level of wear and tear, engineers and designers know just how hard-wearing the seats and materials are going to be.
Opel experts say that after 50,000s 'sittings' the seat colour has 'gone' and the surface is scratched.
But, critically, the foam underneath is alright and the fabric structure remains stable.