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.

–View 3D wheelchair model [QuickTime Movie]
[Requires QuickTime Player]

–View Cooper 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.