To achieve the first objective, the project creates a virtual
campus in which senior-student teams from a number of universities share
their expertise and resources in the design of a common model; one recent
example was a wheelchair-mounted robotic manipulator to assist children
with disabilities. The project problem is assigned and the students do
the rest, learning the importance of interaction and cooperation to overcome
communication and technical problems in developing the design.
The project is divided into two phases:
–Phase 1. Each team produces a conceptual design
following a discussion of the scope and goals of the project, a report
of market research and a set of common design criteria introduced at
an initial meeting of all teams. The designs are critiqued by faculty
and students and one is chosen at a second meeting.
3D wheelchair model [QuickTime Movie]
Union's student team present their design
[Real Media File]
–Phase 2. Each team takes responsibility for further
analysis and manufacture of one part of the assigned device, employing,
for instance, stereolithographic prototyping, in which a computer generates
a wax model of the design that can then be cast in metal. At the end
of the project all pieces must fit together.