Even virtually, Vertically Integrated Projects teams show that anything is possible
This year’s VIP showcase was titled Mission VIPossible, and it was clear to see why: these teams of students are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in their quest to engineer a better, more just world.
Since 2016 NYU Tandon students have had the opportunity to take part in hands-on, multidisciplinary projects of real-world importance and work on them almost the entirety of their academic careers, taking on increasingly responsible roles and tracing the trajectory they might take over the course of their professional lives. They are doing so under the auspices of the VIP Program, which allows them to choose from a wide array of projects, including: designing and constructing custom 3D-printed orthotics for young patients, building an off-road vehicle from the wheels up and then racing it, delving into high-tech urban farming, and much more.
Tandon is a member of the VIP Consortium, a network of highly regarded schools around the world that have implemented the well-vetted, scalable program, which produces students who are broadly competent across disciplines, highly capable in team settings, and prepared to lead complex professional endeavors in public and private sectors. (The Consortium was launched in 2014, and lead institutions included the Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Strathclyde.)
From rockets to robots and everything in between, the VIP teams at NYU Tandon have been collaborating on large-scale projects that unite education, research, and entrepreneurship — a mission that even a pandemic couldn't terminate. These innovations were presented at this semester's showcase, an opportunity to get a glimpse of their ingenuity and innovation.
Among the teams presenting was Sixth Sense, who will move on to represent Tandon at the VIP Consortium’s competition. The team is building a wearable harness that can help the visually-impaired avoid obstacles by using cameras to scan the area and give haptic feedback when a potential issue is near them. The device can be immeasurably helpful for those who live in densely populated areas, where navigation can be especially difficult.
Beyond that, teams presented everything from revolutionary plastic recycling techniques, to improving self-driving capabilities for vehicles, to helping identify vegetarian-friendly restaurants through the use of algorithms and machine learning.