An unlikely area of intervention for an automotive company, Ford’s now designing self-adjusting beds! Designed as a part of the Ford Interventions series, which uses automotive technology to remedy everyday problems, this is the Lane-Keeping Bed. As its name suggests, it prevents bed-space-hoggers from occupying more than half of the bed’s space.
We move around a lot when we sleep (some more than others). This often results in an inequality when it comes to bed sharing. You could roll over in your sleep, pushing your partner into a corner, or you’ve got a pet who has no sense of boundaries and has you occupying just 25% of your designated bed space at the end of the day (or night). That’s where Ford’s quirky Lane-Keeping Bed helps bring back the balance. It uses Ford’s Lane-Keeping Aid technology, which monitors road markings to help guide the driver back into the appropriate lane, and a conveyor-mounted mattress that can roll/shift to always make sure your partner (or you) occupies the correct amount of bed-space.
The bed uses pressure sensors to know when one person occupies more space than the other, and immediately (and silently) rolls/shifts the mattress in the opposite direction, making sure that the two partners occupy an equal amount of space on the bed. What it does when a couple is indulging in frivolous lovemaking is beyond me (I assume it would make foreplay fun?), but I’m sure the guys at Ford have a solution for that too!
If you’ve ever gotten into your car after a big workout or on a really hot day, you and Ford’s latest robot likely have something in common. A sweaty butt. To make sure that your car seat will stand up to such things, Ford engineers in Europe are going all out.
Ford’s Robutt is designed to mimic a sweaty butt. Taint nothing butt another chance to get crackin’ on quality at Ford. Ford uses the butt to test the effectiveness of their car seats over time. It is basically a butt-shaped cushion attached to a Kuka industrial robot arm, which is repeatedly pressed onto the tester seat to recreate 10 years of sweaty wear and tear.
The sweat test takes three days to complete and by the end of it, Robutt sits in the test seat 7,500 times, and even leans from side to side. In case you are wondering, the Robutt has the butt dimensions of a large man, is heated to body temperature, and soaked with 450 milliliters of water.
So there you go. Robots are getting grosser as they strive to copy humans, showing us just how gross WE really are. At least you know that quality is still job one at Ford, and that those seats are built Ford tough.