In the part of Virginia that I live in there are many 18 wheelers. In fact there are two rest stops and a depot within 30 minutes of where I live. After hearing about this contest I thought to myself what if I came up with an invention that helped workers unload faster. This way medicine and other important goods could be delivered even faster to third world countries where there is no way that fork lifts and pallets could be used. Even if it was not used for medicine, it could be used for unloading heavy items like whole pieces of furniture. That would take some strain off of the movers. I had to take the time to think about the main features such an invention would posses, and what engineering principles a real engineer would use. Thus the Doramel was born. I decided to call it the Doramel (door-a-meal) because it is a combination of three other words. The “do” is from dolly. The “ram” is from ramp, and the “el” is from the ending of wheel. I named it this because the Doramel is just that, a combination of all three of these inventions.
There are four aspects of the Doramel’s design that are critical. The first is the difference in the wheel sizes. If the wheels were the same size then there would be no decline and the cargo would not slide down, so the truckers would have to constantly stop to push the cargo back out of the way to allow room for more cargo. The second feature is the fact that there is a wheel inside of the wheel. The clear ball inside the outer wheel makes it possible to have brakes. Without brakes the Doramel wouldn’t be anchored and would slide around while in use. Lastly is the folding gate. Without it then the cargo would fall off. If it didn’t fold down then the Doramel would not fit in storage areas at depots.
The design of the Doramel is simple because I used the engineering principle KISS. It contains only fourteen parts. I used the KISS principle because the goal wasn’t attractiveness; it was efficiency. At the bottom of the Doramel are the wheels. The big ones are in the back; the small are in the front. Then coming off the clear wheel inside both wheels are the brakes. The brakes are split so that they can slide between the outer wheel, and still slide over the inner wheel to be out of the way when it’s moving. Additionally, the placement of the four wheels keep it balanced; they’re placed like wheels on a car. On top of the wheels is the ramp. The ramp is wide and made of steel so that large amounts can be carried on it. Also on the ramp are three handlebars, one in front and one on each side. This is so that three men or women could push it.
Connected to the ramp by joints is the gate. The gate has three sides so it can cover three sides of the Doramel. Because the back of the Doramel is needed to unload the cargo, the gate is on the right, left, and front sides. The joints are on all three sides of the Doramel so that it can be stored easier. This way it won’t take up as much space, and more can fit in one area. There is a latch on the top of the front side of the gate so that it can fasten to the end of the ramp while it is closed. First the right side goes down, then the left side on top of the right. Finally the front goes down and latches to the ramp.
In conclusion there are three reasons why I think the Doramel is a good invention. One, it has four important features. They are the gate, the wheel inside the wheel, the placement of the wheel, and the ramp. Two, it took engineering principles to make. In this case an engineer would have used the engineering principle KISS to figure out how large amounts would fit, how to balance it, and how it would fit into storage. Most importantly the Doramel can be used to help people, both workers and recipients. It will reduce the time it takes for important items to get to people, and it will reduce the strain on workers moving the Doramel.
For a chance to win up to $500, imagine how engineering can help your community. Then write a plea to your city or county council to make the case for an infrastructure improvement.
Also, don't forget to look for our EngineerGirl booth at Invent It. Build It.(IIBI) IIBI is a hands-on engineering experience for girls in grades 6-12, and their families. Join 10,000 women engineers from around the globe in Austin, TX on Saturday, October 28th to prove that girls can be engineers!
Learn more and register.