Between my job, my hobbies and my travel schedule, I spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a wide range of cars and trucks. If I went back to the beginning I must be getting close to a thousand, especially if you consider I have almost owned a hundred. On this blog we spend a ton of time discussing the design of cars, both outside and inside, as appearance can help determine which car or truck a consumer purchases. But there is nothing quite like spending a few miles with your seat firmly planted in the seat and behind the wheel. In the end design is more than just about appearance. While appearance may lead to a customer purchasing a particular car, the way a car feels and operates may lead to how happy a person is with their purchase after-the-fact.
Recently the topic of how a seat, a button and a knob feels came up while discussing interior design. Many years ago I was working on an interior lighting program and was surprised to leave about all the acoustical work that was done in evaluating aural switch performance (try searching for THAT topic on google). I was wondering how does a car company evaluates best-in-class performance these days when many of these evaluations are still subjective. How do you develop a repeatable test and by what criteria do you determine what separates a good design from a bad one? And perhaps more importantly, the key question is “How do you measure the perceived value of your product?”
For interior components that are touched by the driver or passenger, that means haptic measurement. In the area of tactile evaluation Battenberg Robotic is one of Europe’s leaders with more than 30 years of experience. This has made Battenberg a leader in the field and a center of competence. They offer a combination of robots, sensors, electrical equipment and free programmable test programs that utilize specifically designed algorithms to measure,test, analyze and compare movement.
As the robot carries out the programmed movements, a multi-axis force/torque sensor on the robot hand measures the values of the push forces and turning torques. These values are then evaluated by the robot’s kinematics and recorded in the RobFlow software, where force versus distance, torque versus angle, etc are analyzed and compared to the required quality standards, tolerance limits and/or levels. These measurements can either be done in ambient conditions or in a climate controlled chamber.
Battenberg’s Measuring Robots play an important role in solving real haptic challenges and is a leader in providing objective tactile quality appraisals. They are know for their high standards in many industries including automotive, medical, lifestyle and household appliances. For more information please visit www.battenberg.biz