Ford's new robot has only one arm, but she is a smart girl with an attitude
RUTH, as the new robot is known, stands for Robotized Unit for Tactility and Haptics (tactile sensation applied to computer applications). The new machine arrived on the continent earlier this year, immediately confirming the 2013 Ford Fusion has an interior pleasing to the consumer.
Quality can be a nebulous thing to identify, but when a customer sits in a premium car, the tactile qualities of the trim and buttons tell them the car is special. Touch and an intuitive sense of quality are innately human characteristics, although they are not easy to measure. So the answer to that equation is RUTH.
RUTH assigns quantifiable level measurements to vehicle characteristics like softness, roughness, temperature, hardness and comfort, allowing Ford to tailor each interior to its particular demographic.
The truest beauty comes from within and RUTH is little more than a giant arm with six joints, programmed to poke the trims, turn the knobs, push the buttons and interact with most of the vehicle’s interior areas just as a person would.
In North America, Ford engineers are finding numerous ways to work with RUTH, for example getting her opinion on seat comfort – a global first! Eileen Franko, Ford craftsmanship supervisor, believes RUTH will lead the way to greater customer satisfaction.
“Thanks to the data provided by RUTH, we can be sure the customer who buys a car like Fusion will experience the same type of quality they might feel if they were to buy a high-end luxury car,” Franko says. “I might be biased, but RUTH isn’t. We know the steering wheel and the armrest softness in Fusion are the best in the world.”