The full event consisted of four components cored by panels of judges including engineers, marketing directors, and managers at local companies. Many of these professionals monitor technology development in this area of research.
Final participants included two teams each from Case
Western Reserve University in Ohio and Dunwoody College
of Technology located in Minneapolis, MN. Iowa State
University, University of Minnesota, and North Dakota State
University all had one team enter the competition, and had
participated in prior years. A brand new team to the ASC
was Marquette University located in Milwaukee, WI.
Past competitors could use a previously entered robot
to participate; however, to qualify, they were required to
change the robot design to meet the new rules and
competition requirements for this year’s events.
The first of the four-part event — Preliminary Design
Review or PDR — took place back in November 2017. The
purpose of this review was to have the students present
their vehicle concept in the areas of technology, navigation,
and operation. The student teams were given a 20 minute
time limit and an outline guide to help organize their
presentation. Evaluations were based on the quality and
technical aspects of the presentation, as well as the ability
to engage the audience.
A panel of seven judges provided feedback that
constituted 10% of each team’s total competition score.
Case Western Reserve University’s “OTTO XL” led the
competition at the conclusion of the PDR. Case Western
was also the overall winning team in the Seventh Annual
ASC. Previous experience can be advantageous at this stage
of the event.
The second part of the competition was the Final
Presentation, which was held on Thursday evening January
25, 2018, at the Science Museum of Minnesota in
downtown Saint Paul. Similar to the PDR, this was a video
slide presentation by competitors that was evaluated on the
quality and technical aspects of the presentation, as well as
the ability to engage the audience. The teams presented to
an auditorium full of other competitors, the general public,
and a panel of 11 judges. Scores on this portion were
worth 15% of the overall comprehensive score.
Flurry of Fun at
In the heart of the winter, teams of university and college students
converged on Saint Paul, MN to participate in the Eighth Annual
Institute of Navigation’s Autonomous Snowplow Competition (ASC).
This event was open to students who wanted to combine robotics,
engineering, design, and computer skills to build a snowplow that
would run independent of human guidance. Teams prepared their
designs and assemblies for months and were excited to display their
By Linda Gutzkow Photos by Christine Altehofen-Sonner
(Gooch Gooch Creative LLC)
SERVO 05/06.2018 45