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  The American Surveyor     

Winners of the Fifth Annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition Announced Print E-mail
Written by Institute of Navigation   
Friday, 30 January 2015

The Institute of Navigation Satellite Division announces the winners of the Fifth Annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Manassas Virginia, January 30, 2015 –The Institute of Navigation (ION) Satellite Division held its Fifth Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition January 22-25, 2015 at Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota in conjunction with the 129th Saint Paul Winter Carnival.

Winning team from the University of Michigan, Dearborn’s “Zenith 2.0.” From left to right: Suneel Sheikh, Jason Spurlock, Benjamin Pollatz, Paraham Moassesi, Scott Zwally, Narasimhamurthi (Nattu) Natarajan (team advisor)Sponsored by The ION Satellite Division and held in cooperation with the ION North Star Section, the ION Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition is a international event open to college and university students, as well as the general public, that challenges teams to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow using state of the art navigation and control technologies to rapidly, accurately and safely clear a designated path of snow.

Eight teams participated during the four day competition, each using state of the art navigation systems to plow two different snowfields.

Teams included students, partners from private industry and faculty advisors from Case Western Reserve University; Dunwoody College of Technology; North Dakota State University, University of Calgary, University of Michigan, Dearborn, and The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Teams were judged based upon their cumulative scores earned throughout the competition phases: 75% of the total score was based upon the plowing competition; and 25% of the total score was based upon the presentations and pre-event report.

First place was awarded to the University of Michigan, Dearborn’s team “Zenith 2.0.” The first place prize included $7,000 and a Golden Snow Globe Award.

Second place was awarded to the University of Michigan, Dearborn’s team “Yeti 5.0.” The second place prize included $4,000 and a Silver Snow Globe Award.

Third place was awarded to the Dunwoody College of Technology’s team “Snow Devils 01012.” The third place prize included $2,000 and a Bronze Snow Globe Trophy.

In addition, the first place team, University of Michigan, Dearborn, has been invited to display their winning snowplow during ION GNSS+ 2015 conference September 14-18, 2015 in Tampa, Florida.

Sponsors of the Fifth Annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition included Lockheed Martin Corporation, ASTER Labs, Inc., Honeywell, Inc., Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK), UTC Aerospace, US Bank, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SPACEX), The Toro Company, John Deere and Company, Proto Labs, Inc., Nuts and Volts Magazine, Servo Magazine, and Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation (ARCS).

The competition received national media attention in addition to considerable local coverage helping to advance the goal of driving innovation for the future of autonomous robots.

The Sixth Annual ION Autonomous Snowplow Competition will be held in January 2016 at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, St. Paul, Minnesota. For more information, please visit www.autosnowplow.com.

About ION
The Institute of Navigation is the world’s premier professional society dedicated to the advancement of the art and science of positioning, navigation and timing. The Institute is a national organization whose membership spans worldwide. Additional information about the ION can be found at http://www.ion.org.

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