North America‘s first autonomous runway snowplough

The robots helping to address off-highway labour shortages


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Although critical, there are some tasks that are too hazardous for human workers to carry out such as clearing snow from busy airport runways in winter. Added to this, finding skilled workers to operate the heavy machinery needed to perform these jobs is increasingly difficult in a market reportedly in short supply.

Northstar Robotics, a Canadian tech start-up founded in 2016, wants to address these challenges by developing autonomous vehicles and wanted to find out if an entire fleet of vehicles can be powered by a single intelligent control system.

Can an entire fleet of vehicles be powered by a single intelligent control system?

The robotics company recently launched a pilot of the first autonomous runway snowplough in North America at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, Canada’s seventh busiest airport, overcoming many hurdles to ensure its success.

Read about the complex software requirements Northstar Robotics had in order to develop their autonomous snowplough, and:

  • Why they believe autonomous robots are the answer to North America’s critical skills shortage.
  • The results of their driverless snowplough deployment at Canada’s Winnipeg Richardson International Airport and what it means going forward.
  • Why they chose support from Ubuntu above alternative distros.
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