Dunwoody College’s Snow Devil 01102 Snowplow earned third place—and a $2,000 prize—at the 6th annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Snowplow Competition held January 28-31 during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. The team also won the $500 Professor Nattu Sportsmanship Award for the second year in a row.
Dunwoody’s 2016 team—coached by faculty members E.J. Daigle, John McShannock and Alex Wong— included Electronics Engineering Technology students Alan Stafford, Matt Herrick, and Andy Haug; and Automated Systems & Robotics students Ryan Dailey and Dustin Forcier.
Competition aligns with Dunwoody’s approach to education
According to the ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition website: “The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students as well as the general public, to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path.”
This year, eleven teams from the top engineering universities in the Upper Midwest and Canada participated. Dunwoody’s Robotics & Manufacturing Department is one of just two teams that have been competing in the annual event since it first began in 2011. The College has since taken home several awards, including a third place prize in 2015.
“The competition provides great credit to the application-based engineering culture here at Dunwoody,” Daigle said. “Especially as we prepare to launch new engineering programs over the next 5 years.”
The team’s knowledge and experience with the competition appeared to be evident to other teams as well. Daigle said that at one point during the competition, a team announced they were going to quit due to technical difficulties when another team suggested they, “find the Dunwoody guys–they can fix anything.”
Daigle said that the cooperative competition displayed by his team was one of the best parts of this year’s contest.
1st place: University of Michigan “Yeti 6.0”
2nd place: Case Western Reserve University “Otto X”
3rd place: Dunwoody College of Technology “Snow Devil 01102”
4th place: University of Michigan “Zenith 2.1”
5th place: Case Western Reserve University “Snow Joke”
6th place: North Dakota State University “Thundar 2.0”
7th place: University of St. Thomas “John Snow”
8th place: University of Minnesota “Ground Squirrel”
9th place: University of British Columbia “Snow Flake”
10th place: North Dakota State University “Snow Blight”
11th place: Bemidji State University “BeaverBot”