MIT-Sponsored High School Team Developing Autonomous Snowblower
Feb 13, 2014
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A group of 13 students from Wausau West High School in Wausau, WI, is developing an autonomous snow removal device - a robotic snowblower – as part of the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program.

The team has received coverage by several news outlets in north-central Wisconsin, including Channel 7 WSAW news, Wisconsin Public Radio, WSAU radio news, Channel 9 WAOW news, and particularly from the Wausau Daily Herald.

The team is working with its second of three planned prototypes. In the most recent Daily Herald article, students reported that the current prototype requires an operator to run the machine by remote control. Further development will include GPS and self-navigation capability. Ethan Klein, a senior at Wausau West, told the Daily Herald that future improvements will also include safety features, such as proximity sensors to shut the device down if it comes near an unexpected object, pet, or person.

The group at Wausau West is one of 15 high school engineering teams that are part of the current Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams program.

The team works under the guidance of Theran Peterson, a Wausau West High School teacher. The students on the team are:

• Jacob Pippenger
• Noah Hessel
• Justen Toivonen
• Noah Dreikosen
• Brandon Ollhoff
• Ethan Klein
• Aaditi Naik
• Gabriela Betancourt
• Ben Miller
• Parker Daley
• Blake Sherfinski
• James Waldman
• Angela Campbell

According to MIT: "InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and mentors that receive grants up to $10,000 each to invent technological solutions to real-world problems. Each InvenTeam chooses its own problem to solve."

All 15 of the current teams will travel to MIT in June 2014 to present their inventions.

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