A graduate student, a crash test dummy, and building safer cars
February 14th, 2018
Devon Albert, a fourth-year doctoral student in Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, spends a lot of her time with a crash-test dummy.
The first prototype of the dummy, which is called THOR for short, was released in the mid-1990s.
“So it’s actually about as old as me,” she said.
THOR, whose name is an acronym for “test device for human occupant restraint,” was designed to replace an older dummy called the Hybrid III. Released in 1976, the Hybrid III is still used today to certify that cars meet government safety standards. The Hybrid III is also used to generate the data behind the familiar five-star vehicle safety ratings.
The newer dummy has a more humanlike spine, shoulders, and chest, among other changes.