Land Rover has created a robo paw to make sure its rough new 2020 Defender is dog-proof.

AS MUCH AS Land Rover tells us that the new 2020 Defender will be the ultimate machine in the bush, it will equally be the ultimate SUV to be seen in at the dog park. With that in mind, Jaguar Land Rover has built a spring-loaded 3D paw to durability test its SUVs.

The idea started with enlisting the service of a dog to test that the rear bumper and boot of the upcoming 2020 Land Rover Defender was tough enough to withstand repeated clobbering by a canine.

With the assistance of a nine-year-old Labrador guide dog named Yogi, engineers used sensors to measure how much force was exerted by Yogi’s paws when he jumped in and out of the boot, scratching the bumper on the way in. Using the data collected, a 3D paw named ‘RoboYogi’ was created to test-cycle the action 5000 times.

3d dog paw car testing durability

The idea was so successful it is now being used by JLR as an abrasion (rough?) test on other models, in which RoboYogi scratches the panel ten times followed by a linear scratch to one side.

Fitting of the lifestyle a Defender owner will apparently have (just check out all of these pet accessories), Land Rover is confident the rear bumper and boot will stand up to over ten years of abuse caused by a medium-to-large dog.

Yogi the Land Rover dog 3D paw test

“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,” said senior engineer at JLR, Julie Nicholls.

“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.”

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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