Graduate Student designs autonomous snowplow for competition
AEM Graduate student Hamid Mokhtarzadeh participated in the First Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition held this past weekend in conjunction with the St. Paul Winter Carnival. The Institute of Navigation (ION) sponsored competition brought six teams from various institutions across the Midwest.
Mokhtarzadeh along with three other UMN graduate students from electrical and mechanical engineering were required to build a snowplow vehicle that could autonomously move snow. The competition was sectioned into three parts on three days including a Critical Design Review and two competitions that involved the actual movement of snow. After days one and two the team was comfortably second in the competition. Sadly on the third day the team experienced a technical glitch in the functionality of the controller. This caused a delay in their start and they were only able to plow only a portion of the snow and slipped to fourth place.
Mokhtarzadeh is a third year graduate student pursuing his PhD with the Systems Research group in AEM. He’s received his Masters degree working with Prof. Gary Balas and will finish his PhD with Prof. Demoz Gebre-Egziabher as his adviser.