3 DIY Robots to Unbury You from the Next Snowpocalypse

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By now most of the people affected by winter storm Nemo have had a chance to unbury themselves from the snow. I’m sure many of them won’t want to see snow again for a very long time, let alone shovel it. Which is why now is the perfect time to start building your robotic snowplow. That way you can sit in front of your fireplace, drink your hot coco, and plow yourself out from the comfort of your easy chair.

Scale4x4RC forum member Hajen spent around two years building a 1:8 scale Pistenbully (aka snowcat) from the ground up. This impressive build features a custom welded chassis, home-built treads, fiberglass cabin, articulated blade, and 2 motors for plenty of drift pushing power. His thread is loaded with detailed pictures of the build along with test videos. Next he’s working on a rear mounted tiller to give the snow that freshly groomed “corduroy” pattern just like the real thing.

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Living in Canada, roboticist DJ Sures knows a thing or two about snow. Built as an entry for a local robotics competition, DJ and some students modified a mobility scooter with a snow shovel blade. The robot runs off a car battery and is controlled using DJ’s EZ-Robot controller (available in the Maker Shed). Now DJ can stay warm in front of his computer and plow out the driveway for his modified Audi S4.

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I’m not sure why it looks like a coffin, but the Roboplow from ideaLaboratories is one impressive beast. It features a 50″ pneumatically actuated plow, 6 wheel drive, 660 amps of power, an onboard charge controller, LED headlights, pan & tilt camera, and LED headlights for night plowing. It reportedly weighs 1000 lbs and from the looks of the video, can muscle through snow like nobody’s business.

Know of any other great snow removal robots or methods? Let us know in the comments!

8 thoughts on “3 DIY Robots to Unbury You from the Next Snowpocalypse

  1. Poet says:

    Roboplow should be a kit sold in the makers shed. Open source and DIY for custom look and options other than basic black.

    1. Michael Castor says:

      And with attachments so I could use it to mow my grass in the summer!

  2. cooker spares says:

    I love the healthy debates happening about device specific vs responsive design approaches. It allows for parties to see the light and dark side of each techniques.

  3. Foobar says:

    Slight nitpick, but Pistenbully is a company name rather than a generic term. In the same way that draglifts aren’t called “pomas”, either (which makes me laugh every time I see american tourists over here – all our lifts – chair, drag and cable car have “poma” plastered all over them, as they are al made by Pomagalski S.A.)

    “Grooming machine” would be a better term, probably, or at least make clear that it’s a scale model of a particular pistenbully grooming machine.

    Yeah, I should get a life.

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I am the Evangelist for the Maker Shed. It seems that there is no limit to my making interests. I'm a tinkerer at heart and have a passion for solving problems and figuring out how things work. When not working for Make I can be found falling off my unicycle, running in adverse weather conditions, skiing down the nearest hill, restoring vintage motorcycles, or working on my car.

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