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AutoMelter: An Anti-Snow System for Driveways

Hillsborough High School (Class of 2021), Northwestern University (Class of 2025), Majoring in mechanical engineering (with a concentration in aerospace engineering) (2021-2024), Pursuing a master's degree in mechanical engineering (2024-2025)
High School
Northwestern University
Graduation Year
Student review
My mentor carried me through this entire project. He did not just mentor me or just supervise me, he was basically a partner. There were many things that we both explored for the first time together and it felt super friendly and welcoming to have him by my side. I honestly don't think this project would've become a physical device outside of my head if it wasn't for Hebert. I owe him a lot! He taught me many lessons that I am sure I will be applying throughout my engineering career.

View Polygence scholar page
Project description

AutoMelter is an automatic device that uses an Arduino along with a variety of sensors to melt snow whenever it senses its presence. AutoMelter has a few different applications, I will be discussing its two main ones. The first one is melting snow off driveways. There are three options for clearing snow off driveways: shoveling manually, using a snowplow, or owning a heated driveway. AutoMelter is the best alternative to all three of these options since it is the least expensive and most time-efficient. AutoMelter combines the advantages of each option and eliminates the disadvantages of any. AutoMelter could also be seen as an update to the outdated system of gritters (salt trucks). Salt trucks have also been proven to be expensive since they are seasonal, and since they only start operating after the snowstorm starts, many accidents can still occur. 2,000 deaths and 140,000 injuries occur every year in the US due to snowy and icy roads despite gritters. AutoMelter would eliminate most of these accidents since it starts working instantly as soon as it senses snowfall, preventing snow from even sticking in the first place. It works by spraying a solution that melts the snow.

AutoMelter: An Anti-Snow System for Driveways
Project outcome

Youssef wrote a paper and presented his novel device at Polygence's 5th Symposium where he won the award for Most Innovative project. He is also considering showcasing his invention at engineering expos!

PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Basic Mechanics, Electronics, Robotics

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