Dog owners know how hard a dog can be on a car. They tend to shed on everything and those dog claws can do a lot of damage to a car’s interior. It’s hard on the seats and it’s hard on the paint, which is easily scratched when a dog leaps up through the tailgate. Land Rover knows its customers love dogs, but don’t want to destroy their cars, so it developed a 3D-printed dog paw for use in durability tests.
It’s called the RoboYogi paw and it looks a bit like something that should be on a futuristic robot dog. Land Rover is using it to test the rear bumper’s ability to resist scratching when your dog jumps inside the back for all those trips to the park or the beach. Take a look at that rear bumper on a typical dog owner’s car and you’ll see plenty of evidence that Fido has jumped on board more than a few times.
Land Rover used an actual dog named Yogi the Labrador to develop RoboYogi. The real dog was tasked with jumping in and out of the back of a Land Rover Defender while Land Rover recorded his steps with pressure mapping technology. This let researchers calibrate thee RoboYogi to match an actual dog’s movements to determine how a mid-size dog can wear on a car.
Experts from Land Rover’s materials engineering team and additive manufacturing and robotic engineering teams worked together to ensure they got RoboYogi just right. This 3D-printed paw is now used for intense abrasion tests. The RoboYogi scratches a panel at random ten times in a row then finishes with one side-to-side scratch. That doesn’t sound too tough, but the process is repeated for 5,000 cycles. That’s a lot of hopping in and out of a car replicated without the use of an actual dog.
The test was conducted on the new Land Rover Defender because its side-hinged rear door has a flat bumper that’s perfect for dogs to climb into the vehicle. This new test will help ensure your Land Rover stays looking new no matter how many times you take your dog out for adventure.