Self-driving “Robocar” will feature biobased seat cushions


In Japan, ZMP Inc has adopted Mitsui Chemicals’ biobased polyol for its Robocar Walk self-driving car.

ZMP uses polyurethane foam produced from the polyol—dubbed Econykol—in the Robocar’s seat cushions.

“ZMP has worked to create robotics using designs that resonate with people,” ZMP CEO Taniguchi tells Plastics Today. “Further here, we think it’s essential to make use of materials that are both people-friendly and environment-friendly. By adopting Econykol, we’re able to create robotics that are both people-friendly and eco-friendly – making it possible to provide even more value to our customers.”

Mitsui’s joint venture in Korea, Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes Inc., developed the material using castor seeds as feedstock. The material reduces carbon dioxide emissions compared to incumbent materials by 27%. It is produced by Mumbai’s Vithal Castor Polyols Pvt. Ltd., which is 50% owned by Jayant Agro-Organics Ltd.