Behind the Scenes: The Ultimate Panasonic Toughpad Torture Test

Here at Panasonic, we’re known for putting our rugged mobile computers through the wringer. But we’ve never done a torture test quite like the Rube Goldberg-inspired machine we developed to test our new rugged handheld tablet – piranhas, boulders and all.

Our Toughbook and Toughpad devices are regularly used in situations where exposure to extreme environments is a constant challenge and the consequence of a failure is significant – from soldiers on the battlefield, to utility workers keeping up with a hurricane, to search-and-rescue operations in the remote wilderness. They’ve aided in expeditions to Antarctica, Mount Everest, the Borneo rainforest and nearly everywhere in between.

We know how much our customers depend on the reliability of their Toughbook and Toughpad computers, and that’s why each fully rugged model is tested to meet or exceed MIL-STD-810G specifications. MIL-STD-810G testing, which measures the device against Military standards developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, involves drops, high altitudes, dust, liquid, vibration and extreme temperatures to determine a product’s ability to withstand challenging conditions in the field. We’re always happy to provide our customers with results of these tests; for example, a summary of tests performed on the Toughpad FZ-M1 can be found here.

Occasionally, though, we put our rugged devices through torture tests that go far beyond MIL-STD-810G specifications to show just how tough they really are. A few years ago, one of our Toughbook 30 rugged laptops survived a day with a white tiger and an elephant, and Toughbook devices have survived ride-alongs with an ATV, a snowmobile and a motocross racer.

Earlier this year we launched our most rugged device yet – the Toughpad FZ-E1 rugged handheld tablet. This Toughpad, and its Android cousin, the Toughpad FZ-X1, are built to withstand 10 foot drops to concrete, thirty minutes underwater, and more. For this device, we engineered a Rube Goldberg-inspired machine – a contraption involving a chain reaction of events named after American cartoonist and inventor Rube Goldberg – that would put the Toughpad FZ-E1 through the ultimate torture test.

What kind of work went into making the test? Watch the video below to learn more.