Murray Roddis of Roddis 3D Dimension Technologies at the Indy 500

Murray Roddis of Roddis 3D Dimension Technologies at the Indy 500

Red Deer technolgy scans at IndyCar

Less than three years ago, Murray Roddis was begging his way onto the paddock at the Edmonton Indy.

Less than three years ago, Murray Roddis was begging his way onto the paddock at the Edmonton Indy.

Today his company, Roddis 3D Dimension Technologies, is sanctioned as a technical inspections team for the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500.

The vehicle that carried the Red Deer man into the racing limelight was metrology, or the science of measurement — in this case the use of a laser scanner to measure three-dimensional objects to within microns.

Roddis has shown that the technology is an effective way to check the dimensions of race cars and their components, and ensure they comply with regulations and have no defects.

Roddis 3D performed second-opinion measurements at the 2012 Indy 500, making it the first private entity to be hired by a motorsports series to conduct technical inspections.

It’s been invited back this year as a technology partner, with the opportunity to remain involved for the entire racing season.

Roddis, a longtime surveyor who operates Landmark Surveys, has always been quick to try and adopt new technologies.

This included laser scanners, and in July 2010 he attended the Edmonton Indy in hopes of trying his industrial scanner on a race car.

Roddis’ efforts to gain access to the race paddock were unsuccessful, until the unexpected announcement that Octane Motorsports

Events had just taken over as promoter.

The resulting confusion enabled him to access the racing area, and he began searching for a team willing to have its car scanned.

“They all said, ‘No, go away!’” recalled Roddis.

He persevered, and eventually attracted the attention of Sam Schmidt, owner of the Sam Schmidt Motorsports (now Schmidt Peterson Motorsports).

“He is one of the most successful team owners in the history of IndyCar racing,” said Roddis.

Schmidt granted Roddis access to one of his cars, and soon a curious crowd of race officials were watching.

“Nobody had ever seen anybody scan at trackside,” he explained. “It was always done in a closed environment.”

To Roddis’ horror, the tripod supporting his high-tech scanner collapsed and the equipment clattered onto the concrete floor.

He collected himself, confirmed that the scanner was still functioning, and soldiered on.

“We ended up getting the scan,” said Roddis, adding that it took an hour and a half to create a 3D rendering of the vehicle.

The performance earned him an invitation to Indianapolis, Ind. for further demonstrations.

But before he departed, Roddis realized that his scanner lacked the precision needed for race car applications.

Nikon Metrology came to the rescue with one of its high-end scanners.

The equipment was used to test a rear mainplane of a Sam Schmidt Motorsports car that driver Alex Tagliani felt was hindering performance.

Traditional inspections had found no defects, but a scan revealed that one side of the mainplane was six-thousandths of an inch high and the other side was three-thousandths of an inch low.

“The thickness of one piece of photocopy paper is three one-thousandths of an inch,” pointed out Roddis.

Other tests were conducted, including one that confirmed a cockpit salvaged from a damaged car was slightly out of alignment.

Tagliani even inquired about getting his helmet scanned, reasoning that if he was ever in an accident the helmet could be scanned again to identify the points of impact and possible locations of head injuries.

The following year at the Edmonton Indy, Roddis performed the first micron-level scan in a trackside setting in the history of open-wheel racing. He was also asked to help Sam Schmidt Motorsports build a car for Tagliani to race at the 2011 Indy 500.

Ultimately, Tagliani drove that car to the pole position at the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500.

Roddis has had discussions with representatives of other North American racing series about scanning applications, and has spoken with race teams about the use of optical technology to measure race cars travelling at 220 m.p.h. (354 km/h) — an exercise that could reveal how components like tires distort at high speeds.

He’s also conducted other demonstrations for IndyCar Series officials, earning Roddis 3D its place in the Indy 500 technical inspections garage.

Roddis pointed out that laser scanning helps ensure consistency in testing, which is something all racing teams want.

The technology could become an essential service in the future if aero kits — custom, manufacturer-specific bodywork — are allowed by IndyCar officials. That’s because the physical templates currently used to test car components would be inadequate for the broad range of kits likely to be used by racing teams.

As as an IndyCar sanctioned entity, Roddis 3D is able to accept sponsors — just as race teams do. Sponsorship opportunities range from packages with naming privileges and inside passes for IndyCar races, to the display of small logos on Roddis 3D banners and its website.

Additional information about Roddis 3D can be found on the company’s website at roddis3d.com.

hrichards@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

An incredible closing ceremony capped off the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (File photo by SUSAN JUDGE/2019 Canada Winter Games)
2019 Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund Society hands out $655,000

35 not-for-profit groups across Alberta to get money

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says COVID ICU patients have increased by more than 100 per cent in the past month. (Photo by The Government of Alberta)
Record number of people in ICU: says AHS president

The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team announced Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels acquire goaltender Connor Ungar, forward Liam Keeler in separate trades

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon… Continue reading

Alexander Michael Talbot, 29, was found guilty of operating a vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and vehicle theft in Red Deer provincial court recently. (Advocate file photo)
Man charged following police chases in central Alberta last summer is sentenced

Alexander Michael Talbot sentenced to 22 months in prison

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

FILE - In this Feb. 3, 2021, file photo, exile Tibetans use the Olympic Rings as a prop as they hold a street protest against the holding of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, in Dharmsala, India. Groups alleging human-rights abuses in China are calling for a full boycott of the Beijing Olympics, which is sure to ratchet up pressure on the International Olympic Committee, athletes, sponsors, and sports federations. A coalition of activists representing Uyghurs, Tibetans, residents of Hong Kong and others, issued a statement Monday, May 17, 2021 calling for the “full boycott,” eschewing lesser measures like “diplomatic boycotts" and negotiations with the IOC or China. (AP Photo/Ashwini Bhatia, File)
AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

AP Exclusive: Full-blown boycott pushed for Beijing Olympics

Canada's Eric Lamaze riding Fine Lady 5 during the CP International competition at the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, Alta., Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019. Canada's most decorated show jumper has withdrawn from consideration for the Tokyo Olympics. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Canadian show jumper Eric Lamaze withdraws from Tokyo short list

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse questions a foul call during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday, April 26, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Nurse says it was the COVID-19 outbreak in March that spiked his team's chances for a post-season run.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Chris O'Meara
Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Nurse faces a busy off-season, much busier if Canada qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Danielle Goyette speaks to reporters during a press conference in Toronto on Friday, November 10, 2017. Goyette has been named director of player development for the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs and their American Hockey League affiliate. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Hayley Wickenheiser, Danielle Goyette together again on Toronto Maple Leafs staff

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal (11) falls on Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Staal, Niederreiter lift Hurricanes past Predators 5-2

Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) watches the puck get past Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask (40) on a shot by Washington Capitals right wing Garnet Hathaway during the first period of Game 2 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Monday, May 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Marchand scores in OT, Bruins beat Capitals to even series

Toronto Maple Leafs former players Darryl Sittler, centre, Johnny Bower, centre right, are joined by Ted Kennedy's son Mark for a ceremonial puck drop with Montreal Canadiens' Andrei Markov, left, and Toronto Maple Leafs' Dion Phaneuf, right, before NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Leafs, Canadiens legends eagerly awaiting playoff series

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Western MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

Most Read