Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Inspiring students, one robot at a time.

Chassis Wheel Operationalizer


Entry ID #: 8649
Created: Mon, Dec 7, 2020 3:06 PM

                Opportunities in technology and innovation are so exciting.  Everywhere you look, you can find new and inventive technology that makes our world a better place to live.  When you see all of these great inventions one need to pause and think about how and why they were developed in the first place. Evaluating the world and completing a needs assessment is a great place to start. When you are an inventor, you do not want to create something that already exists.  As I thought about the robot challenge and what I would like to have to help me succeed, the options were endless.  How many times had attempted to design and construct a part of a robot, and did not have the exact part I needed? The past several years, I have designed, built, and tore apart robots out of pure frustration from not having the exact piece or part I really needed. I have thought to myself; I wish I had this part or that part?  Now, I had the opportunity to actually design one of the parts I have needed.                 After identifying many parts that would be useful in designing and operating a robot, I decided on a “chassis wheel operationalizer.” The chassis wheel operationalizer was developed and constructed as one piece.  The innovative construction of the chassis wheel operationalizer allows for greater stabilization of the robot chassis, better wheel performance, and less parts usage, which will save money on construction. The chassis wheel operationalizer will be utilized four times to build the robot chassis.  Each chassis wheel operationalizer will attach to chassis support beams to stabilize the chassis.  This single construction piece will house the sides of each robot wheel adding extra protection from competing robots and pieces from the game. I have witnessed wheels being broken off or damaged too many times while driving or observing robots running in competition.  The chassis wheel operationalizer will improve wheel protection and help prevent this from occurring during competition.  Currently, this piece must be constructed using multiple pieces.  The current construction allows for construction errors that could impact wheel performance.  The current design also utilizes multiple pieces that decrease the stability of the chassis, increase construction time, and uses many screws and bolts to safely secure it in place.                 To assist in the invention of the chassis wheel operationalizer, I used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021.  While I had three software options to choose from, I found Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021 to be the most user friendly and functional for my skill level.  I used this software to assist in the construction and design of the chassis wheel operationalizer.  Since I am a new user of this software, it was originally difficult to use, but with time and experimentation I was able to design and construct my part.  While I knew exactly what I wanted to design and construct, it took me many hours to actually plan and design the chassis wheel operationalizer. I needed to become familiar with the options available for designing while using Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021.   After many revisions on my design of the chassis wheel operationalizer, I was able to successfully design the chassis wheel operationalizer and saved to my Inventor file.  Next, I moved to the 3D printing of the chassis wheel operationalizer.                  During the completion of this project I learned several things.  When I completed the needs assessment for what part should be completed, I was originally overwhelmed by how many choices I had.  I learned that I needed to narrow down my assessment to a certain part of the robot, or a specific functionality of the robot.  Once I narrowed my search and identified where I would like to design a new part, the chassis wheel operationalizer seemed like the best choice for helping improve the functionality of a robot by protecting the wheels and lowering the number of parts necessary.  While I originally was not comfortable using Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021, I experimented with it and became comfortable with it really quickly.  I loved how I could really see my part taking shape and make the changes to my part without hand drawing it over and over.  Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021 allows its’ users to make small changes repetitively until their part is perfect and ready for a 3-D print.  Being a savvy user of Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021 is great software to have if you are a member of a competitive VEX robotics team because you could quickly design a part you need, and 3-D print it before the next competition to try and see if it would be worth submitting as an innovative idea.  Learning Autodesk Inventor Professional 2021 may help me in my future path of aviation.  I will need to be capable of assessing the aircrafts I hope to fly.  Understanding how all of the parts work and were designed would be beneficial to understanding their functionality. 


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