Team Zenith

​For the 2018 ION competition, Team Zenith has been merged with Team Yeti. If you are interested in competing in the snowplow competition, please contact their team leader.

Team Zenith is one of the club's autonomous snowplow teams. The team currently participates exclusively in the Autonomous Snowplow Competition run by the Institute of Navigation annually in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The team was founded on the concept of innovation. While the club has enjoyed success by using a dead-reckoning strategy using a laser range finder (see Team Yeti), there was a desire for a more cost-effective method of navigation, as the laser range finder's cost could be quite cost-prohibitive. Thus, Team Zenith was founded to explore a vision-based approach to navigation.

Zenith 1.0 had moderate success at the competition, coming in fourth place out of eight their first year of competition. Zenith 2.0, however, featured a redesigned, simplified box-style chassis and front-view vision system. This team came in first place during the 2015 competition!

This year, they plan to make a variety of changes to their robot:

  • Partnership with a Senior Design team to revamp navigation software
  • Upgrade motor controllers to Sabertooth controllers to support all-wheel drive
  • Upgrade wheels to ATV-style tires for maximum traction
  • Switch to a linux-based operating system to work with ODROID XU4 and for future ROS implementation
  • Implement ultrasonic sensors to implement obstacle avoidance
  • Implement current sensors and wheel encoders to implement slippage detection

2016 Roster:

Team Manager: Benjamin Pollatz

Software Captain: Scott Zwally

Senior Design team (software):

Evan Pietraniec

Jackson Zhu

Xiaohui Zhao

Hardware Captain: Parham Moassesi

Assisted by: Jialin Dong