There are jobs you want — Astronaut. Fireman. Wonder Woman. — and there are jobs you don’t. It’s good that Nissan Technical Center North America in Michigan has Rosie, a robot that does nothing but slam doors all the live-long day.
There was a time not that long ago that if you wanted your doors slammed, some human had to do it. Over. And over. And over again.
Rosie does it without thinking when break time is, wondering how long she needs to wait before she can use the bathroom, or pondering the meaninglessness of her existence.
She just does it once every six seconds, to make sure that the doors on a new Nissan can withstand the abuse the average American family doles out.
You never think about how well a door latch or hinge works until it doesn’t. It has to work every single time. If it’s not working, just getting out of the car to go to work every morning can be an exercise in frustration, as you pound your shoulder against the door frame to get it open.
Rosie slams those doors to make sure that they’re closing with a satisfying “thunk,” that they open to their full range without binding, and that the hinge bushings don’t allow the door to drop.
The average door is slammed shut — sometimes gently, sometimes roughly, sometimes with vigor by a sullen teen, enraged at having been dropped off at school — 45,000 times over a ten year span.
Nissan’s 1.5-ton robot can cycle through those 45,000 door slams in just three days. That leaves the really important jobs for the humans.