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The Future Needs to Hurry: Dunwoody Hosts Autonomous Snowplow Competition

Dunwoody College of Technology hosted the 10th Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition (created by the Institute of Navigation) on Jan. 18, and since most of the area is still nursing fresh mental wounds from the recent snow emergency (especially if you got ticketed or towed), now seems like the perfect time to spotlight some brave — and obviously very smart — souls working to improve snow removal for the masses.

Ten teams entered the snowplow arena on that fateful day and… well, all of them left. This wasn’t a quite a Terminator situation. But every team did design, program, and build an autonomous machine with plowing capabilities. The vehicles scooped and pushed the snow to the best of their ability without any human control. In the end, the U of M’s “Snow Squirrel” emerged victorious with Dunwoody’s own “Wendigo” and “Snow Devil” following close behind. The full scoreboard is below.

Technology and snow removal. Is there a more beautiful combination of words, Minnesota?

We, for one, welcome our new robotic snowplow overlords.

Photos courtesy of Dunwoody College of Technology

Alex Skjong
Alex oversees the content produced for BETA, Twin Cities Startup Week, and When he’s not writing or editing, there’s a good chance he’s enjoying a refreshing brew and explaining the merits of heavy metal (of which there are many).