If you have ever owned a dog, chances are you would have put up with some accidental scratches from your four-legged companion. Whether they're itching for your attention, or are excited to see you back home from work, you or your car might have received some scratches for your pet dog.
In light of this rather unavoidable predicament, Jaguar Land Rover recently developed a unique 3D printed dog paw that can help engineers check the durability of future cars from dog scratches. Called 'RoboYogi', it was used on a new Land Rover Defender to test the rear bumper's ability to withstand a dog's claw scraping the paint before and after the dog walks.
JLR engineers were able to create RoboYogi with the help of Yogi The Labrador. The nine-year old Black Labrador was tasked with jumping in and out of a new Land Rover Defender boot (aka trunk) while being recorded by pressure mapping technology. This allowed the team to benchmark Yogi's data into real-world data that will be used for RoboYogi.
Next, Yogi's paws were 3D mapped and made into a spring-loaded replica. It also comes complete with spring-loaded claws that were designed to apply pressure evenly across the bumper. With it, the life-like RoboYogi paw now serves JLR as a means to complete a standard 5,000-cycle abrasion test, during which it scratches the panel at random for ten times. It is then followed by a linear scratch to one side before repeating the process.
“Our performance testing covers plenty of scenarios that our cosmetic parts are exposed to, but sometimes we have to think outside the laboratory to come up with bespoke solutions. Creating globally renowned vehicles means applying a quality mindset at every stage of a product’s lifecycle to ensure we meet the needs of our customers’ lifestyles. In this case we were able to achieve it by getting a dog, printing a paw and using a robot,” said Julie Nicholls, Senior Engineer in Materials Engineering at JLR.
For JLR owners that always have their furry companions by their side, you can be confident that the company is dedicated to making sure your vehicle can stand up to your dog's paws / claws day in and day out.