Anything but typical prototypes

The Fall 2022 Prototyping Fund showcase had something for everyone, from boxers to building owners

alarm rug showcased

Weight-sensitive alarm clock rug developed by Sima Ha (Tandon BS ‘24), Christina Woo (Tandon BS ‘25), Stacey Lee (Tandon BS ‘25), & Tingting Min (Tandon BS ‘25)

If you happened by the MakerSpace on December 8, you may have been attracted by a display of Rube Goldberg-like contraptions and blinking lights–and the sound of an alarm or two.

That alarm was coming from a small plush rug developed by Sima Ha (Tandon BS ‘24), Christina Woo (Tandon BS ‘25), Stacey Lee (Tandon BS ‘25), & Tingting Min (Tandon BS ‘25) that could be silenced only when weight was applied to it — an innovation meant to compel oversleepers to get out of bed. 

The team was one of 11 taking part in the Fall 2022 Prototyping Fund, a collaborative program offered by the Design Lab @ NYU Tandon MakerSpace, the Technology Management and Innovation Department, and New York City Future Manufacturing Collective (NYC-FMC). The initiative provides student teams with up to $500 in the first round and up to $2,000 in the second to be used to build hardware or software prototypes and connects them with the resources, tools, and mentors they need to bring their ideas to life. It also encourages multidisciplinary collaboration between students at NYU; in addition to Tandon, the College of Arts and Science, Stern, and Steinhardt were also represented at the showcase. 

“I’m continually impressed by the creativity, practicality, hard work and dedication displayed by our students,” said Liz New, Assistant Manager of the MakerSpace. “This semester we worked with an amazing cohort who came prepared with inventive ideas and they put in the hard work of testing and iteration. I hope they will apply for a second round of funding, so we can see how they continue to develop their prototypes.”

In addition to the alarm rug, prototypes included:

  • Aroid PerfectPole: Cara Hsiao (Stern ’26) - An eye-catching  modular support system for vertically climbing tropical plants 
  • AuDA (Automated Dibner Assistant): Daniel Zhang (Tandon BS ’25), Junho So (Tandon BS ’25), Ka Seung Soo (Tandon BS ’25), & Ryan You (Tandon BS ’25) - A self-driving robot that can help students navigate their school libraries 
  • BoxeFence: Praneeth Challagonda (Tandon MS ‘22) & Riccardo Negri (Tandon MS ‘22) - Boxing headgear that senses when contact is made, leading to safer bouts
  • Dip Coater: Letian (Richard) Li (Tandon BS ‘25), Ana Vataj (Tandon BS/MS ‘24), Shlok Paul (Tandon PhD ‘24), & Ingrid Parades (Tandon Assistant Professor) - A compact and affordable machine that can be used to obtain uniform and consistent thin coatings on a substrate
  • EASEEbot (Envelope Assessment System for Energy Efficiency): Bilal Sher (Tandon MS ‘22), Talha Javed (Tandon MS ‘23), Naveen Kumar (Tandon MS ‘23), Sruti Madhusudhan (Tandon MS ‘23), Siddharth Mahesh (Tandon MS ‘23), & Aravindan Vasudevan (Tandon MS ‘23) - A robotic system aimed at reducing leak- and moisture-related energy costs in buildings
  • MagMove: Yosef Nofal (Tandon MS‘24), Hanwen Zhao (Tandon PHD’24), & Bassant Mohamed (Tandon MS‘24) - A platform to test proof-of-concept methods for manipulating modular robots using distributed magnetic fields
  • Modula: Zack Nguyen (Tandon ‘25), Kai Wang (Tandon ‘25), & Lucas Li (Tandon ‘25) - A smarter and more portable cooling solution for personal computers
  • Ro4Coin: Noki Leung (Tandon Masters ‘22) - A compact and portable coin organizer, designed to help people contend with the confusing sizes of U.S. coins and troublesome sales tax and tips
  • Tactonnets: Marilena Orfanos (Steinhardt Master’s ‘23) - A tactile annotation tool for blind and visually impaired students, designed specifically for examining rhyme scheme, syllable patterns, and metrical feet in highly structured poems such as sonnets
  • ViBrush: Anthony Sukotjo (CAS ‘24) & Kieren Gill (CAS ‘24) - An electronic brush that improves safety and efficiency for mountain climbers
Beespect team at Prototyping Fund showcase

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Learn more about the Prototyping Fund and how to apply.