Novel Snow Removal Techniques Engineering Design Coursework

Project Description

Coursework for ES96, Junior Design Tutorial. In light of the record snowstorm that shut Boston down for a week in 2015, Harvard University professors and Facilities Maintenance Operations reached out to us for new snow removal solutions.

Advisor: Prof. David Mooney

Project Details

Our team of 18 students developed three new snow removal methods: a snow-melting hydrogel-based mat, a nichrome icicle cutter, and a robotic snowblower (my team's focus). I was one of the primary drive train designers.


  • Weighs < 400 lbs, breaks into 2 pieces such that it can be carried by hand.
  • Drivable using a Playstation controller over the Harvard Wifi
  • Small enough to work on flat rooftops: turning around corners without damage, reducing risk of human injury if a structure buckles under snow's weight
  • Press / Relevant Media

  • Brains vs Blizzards: Harvard Students Take On Snow Removal, Associated Press
  • Engineering a Clear Path Forward, Associated Press
  • Featured on Inventor's Week 2016, Discovery Channel Canada

Components

Teammate Cesar Maeda talks about the various specifications of our snowblower.

3D Model

Mock-up of the final snowblower assembly.

Gear Box Design

One of my key contributions. The motors and gears needed to be able to fit inside the pre-existing framework and align with the already existing openings for axles.

Demo: Wheels in Action

Demonstration of the functionality of the gear box components, driven wirelessly from a computer on the other side of the room.