Repair or spare part strategy

My team has tried to simplify design throughout their robot and in doing so, for lack of better words, they take on some risks of not having structures that can take some heavier physical impact in games. For example, their tray was thinned down and while it seems to function to their liking, I have concerns over breakage upon heavy physical impacts it may encounter in games. Given their reluctance to strengthen the design/build, my next suggestion would be to ask them to be prepared when things break. For example, have replacement parts ready for all potentially susceptible parts of the robot.

Now my real question:

  1. do you prepare replacement parts for your robots? If yes, to what level? Eg: have parts for the whole tray available, or just pre-cut parts for exactly where things may break …etc? I guess there may be the argument of swapping out assembly is quicker than replacing a smaller component of an assembly.
  2. do you cut parts needed on the fly in a tournament? what are your experiences in terms of challenges you encounter in fixing your robot in a tournament?

well I usually bring replacement gears and shafts and screws and all that, as well as some spare c channel in case something bends or breaks, but the first priority for me would be to make your robot structurally sound. you can build small but strong if you know how. if you show pictures I can advise you how to increase strength without making it too bulky.


I bring some spare c channels, screws, nuts, spacers, shafts, and a tin snip. Those should be all that’s necessary, although as Taran said, making your bot resistant to damage is a key priority.
You dont want to hold up the tournament because you’re desperately trying to fix something that broke


As my dad is within the Air Force, he tends to share me many strategies used that can apply to not just planes, but for the Engineering world as well. There’s this strategy known as “stocking” where you would create a clone of a specific item, machine, or component, and store it. Then, if anything on your robot breaks, you would replace the item with the clone within a couple of minutes (as compared to 30 minutes to an hour fixing the original broken item), and while you use the cloned item for competition, the rest of the people on the team would fix the broken item to be used in case anything happens again. This would create a continuous cycle that allows continuous convenience and ease within a time-crunch.


My team is doing a tray so we have 3 stages built but not cut so if anything breaks we can quickly cut and get the bot working again

Thanks to all replies here. My team went to a scrimmage with their newly built second robot of the season. While the scrimmage was probably way more friendly than a tournament match, they felt their trays should be ok. A couple of screws did come loose but so far nothing seems catastrophic. They decided to review the structure soundness of the tray and will prepare pre-made replacement parts if necessary.

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