Robotics Students Build New York’s Startup Culture

NEW YORK—The financial crisis of 2008 set off a spark, and officials realized they couldn’t put all their cards into the finance industry for revenues. Seeds were planted for technology and film, yet the deeper hope is to turn the city into a hub for startups.

Bringing this hope to fruition will take more than just a well-laid plan, however. The first wave will come through the city’s technology students as they begin their foray onto the new path laid before them.

“These companies need talent if you’re going to build a startup culture. You need to have a filled pipeline, from high school, to college, to startup companies,” said Vikram Kapila, director of the mechatronics and robotics lab at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly).

Kapila was joined by students and teachers for a Polytechnic Institute of New York City electronics expo, which was held at MetroTech Plaza in Brooklyn on May 20. Students and professors showed their creations beneath a large tarp, and tables were lined with everything from smart materials such as mechanical fish and cement that can display electronic images, to eye-tracking robot heads.

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