High-speed robot tests the reliability of black boxes
Published on 14 May, 2020 in Industry 4.0
A non-destructive alternative to crash tests
Generali Jeniot, a company wholly owned subsidiary of Generali Italia and devoted to developing innovative Connected Insurance and IoT services, has developed a non-destructive application to test the key parameters of black boxes that are due to be installed in cars. The test is based around the high-speed movements of an Omron Delta Quattro robot.
For some years, black boxes have been installed in cars to record and transmit a range of data, including their location, speed, acceleration etc. Insurance companies benefit as the black box provides them with more detailed information relating to thefts and accidents and helps to reduce fraud and encourage better driving. However, policyholders can also benefit, as better driving can lead to rewards in the form of discounts on their policies.
Black boxes need to be small, easy to install and above all, reliable. Their built-in capabilities must offer a very good representation of the dynamics of an impact and also of driver behaviour. This is why manufacturers and insurance companies conduct real crash tests, similar to those carried out for the safety of passengers, but with the aim of improving, for insurance purposes, the estimate of actual damage recorded by the black box.
Generali Jeniot decided to find a non-destructive, more efficient and more economical alternative to a crash test that would provide reliable information. It has therefore patented and developed a new testing method in conjunction with Viasat, a telematics systems and IoT solutions company. The solution uses Omron’s Delta Quattro robot, which is programmed to subject the black boxes to the same acceleration and deceleration that would be recorded on a car during a crash test, as well as other simulated road traffic situations. The application was developed in collaboration with the University of Padua and was presented at international insurance company conferences and at the SPS automation fair in Parma. It has since been used successfully for testing the black boxes of the Generali Group’s policyholders, as well as those produced and distributed by third parties.