A highlight of the evening included students having
the opportunity to network with local engineers and
employees of several corporate sponsors of the ASC.
Eight teams participated in the Final Presentation, as
several of the preliminary teams had to drop out of the
competition due to hardware issues. Once again, Case
Western Reserve University’s team OTTO XL came out
with the highest score.
On Friday, January 26, 2018, all competing team’s
snowplow vehicles were tested for a variety of safety
features and operating compliance at the Final
Qualification Review. In addition to the official review,
team members were allowed a free day to explore the
local area or work on their vehicle to ensure their plows
were ready to run on the following two days.
Volunteers used Friday to clear and set up the street
used for the competition to provide a proper plowing
field for the upcoming event.
ASC is part of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival: an
annual festival dating back to 1886, and held nearly
continuously since 1937 to celebrate winter. As in past
years, the Eighth Annual ASC took place on the street
adjacent to Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul. This
year’s festival featured a seven-story Ice Palace located
in Rice Park right next to the ASC events.
The first competition day was Saturday, January
27th. The weather cooperated beautifully with
temperatures hovering around 25°F. The field of snow
was set up as a “Single-I” course to represent a sidewalk
with dimensions of 10m in length by 1m in width. This
first run is a timed event, so teams were given 20
minutes to set up their navigation field and necessary
equipment, and then complete their plowing.
Outer boundary markings were used to make sure
that the snowplows remained within a set path.
Penalties were added to team’s scores if the vehicles
touched these outer boundaries. Placed in the field were
two stationary obstacles in which the plows were
instructed to avoid. In addition, a moveable obstacle
resembling a stop sign entered the field during the run
and the autonomous snowplow vehicles were required
to stop automatically. If a snowplow did not avoid the
obstacles the team would incur penalties. After the
autonomous snowplow vehicles completed their runs,
three judges measured the amount of snow that was
removed from each square meter along the course.
This Single-I event was 25% of the team’s
cumulative score. Between each run a team of
volunteers (known as the Pit Crew) removed any
remaining snow from the course and prepared the field
with fresh snow all precisely measured to ensure a fair
competition for the next team.
All eight student-led teams’ snowplows were
successful at rapidly and accurately clearing snow. Each
plow was built using state-of-the-art navigation and
control technology such as Light Detection and Ranging
TEAM DUNWOODY COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY TEAM
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UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA TEAM “SNOW SQUIRREL.”
NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY TEAM “THUNDAR 2.0.”
46 SERVO 05/06.2018