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Royal Assault Gets Grant

In June of 2005 our team applied for a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant. The Lemelson Foundation in partnership with MIT created a program where high school students are encouraged to see a real world problem and invent a solution for the problem. This year 18 teams in the nation were chosen to receive a grant of up to $10,000.

Our team applied for the grant to create an omni-directional wheelchair using the Airtrax Mecanum wheel that we used on both our 2005 and 2006 robots. After the initial judging process, we were notified that our team was chosen as one of 32 finalists. As a finalist, our team had to write a more detailed grant application, which included a timeline, budget, and detailed description of the invention. After writing the final grant application, a second judging of the applications was done, and we were notified that we were chosen as a winner and would be receiving a grant of over $9,800.

Since being announced as a grant winner our team has been working diligently with organizations such as: Airtrax, Smooth-On, Igus, The Iron Shop, the Drexel University Machine Shop, select individuals, and wheelchair rehab centers to create our wheelchair. Along with building the wheelchair our team has had to write monthly progress reports showing our progress from each month to the next. In addition to the reports our team also had to write a thirty-eight page paper which included ever thing about our invention with pictures and our budget.

After nearly a year of research, design, fabrication, and testing, our wheelchair is nearly done. On June 14th the InvenTeam will be traveling to MIT to present our finished invention to MIT professors, business leaders, and the other grant winners.

Article by Garrett Sapsis
Posted on 2006-06-04