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Robotic Snowplow Helps Students Score Engineering Jobs
Mar 28, 2013
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A robotic snowplow built by engineering students has been clearing snow on the campus of Hope College in Holland, MI, as reported in local news web site Mlive.com.

A team of students in the Engineering Design Seminar at Hope--Matthew Rybar, Philip Hallam, and Scott Brandonisio--developed and built the robotic snowplow as a course project. Rybar said the Autonomous Snowplow Robot came from a brainstorming session in which the students decided that, if a home can have a robot to vacuum the floor, why not one to plow the driveway.

The resulting device weighed 75 lb and runs for three hours on a battery charge. The robot is programmed to begin working when it senses snow falling. It can plow snow as deep as three inches.

Brandonisio described the automation's benefits to a prospective homeowner: if the "snowbot" detects snowfall in the middle of the night, it can clear the driveway by morning.

The team is working now to develop automatic recharging capability into the robot.

Mlive article author Myron Kukla said that the robotic snowplow project helped the three students procure post-graduation employment with Dematic North America's engineering Department. Dematic is a factory automation equipment and systems supplier in Grand Rapids, MI.

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