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The Weiss Hardware Accelerator (WHA) will run its inaugural cohort from February to April 2019. Teams of 3-4 students will develop a hardware device from concept to a functional prototype. Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge or experience of engineering design and fabrication skills.

Teams will be advised by 3 mentors with professional and academic experience in robotics, mechanical and mechatronic design, product design and design for manufacturability. The mentors will conduct two hour sessions each week that introduce students to fundamental concepts of interdisciplinary engineering design and fabrication.

Topics covered during these sessions will include:
Computer-aided design (CAD)
Mechanical prototyping (laser cutting, 3D printing, basic woodworking)
Design for Manufacturability and Assembly
Programming microcontrollers (Arduino)
Integrating electronic sensors and actuators
Wireless communications

Teams will apply the concepts covered in these sessions towards development of their device outside of these sessions. Each team’s progress will be evaluated in weekly design reviews by WHA mentors. Students will be given access to fabrication resources (3D printers, laser cutters, electronic prototyping materials), as well as up to $1000 in funding to purchase materials for their device. At the end of the program, teams will present and demonstrate their functional prototypes.

Selected teams will pitch their ideas to mentors in a short 3 minute presentation (more details to come). Ideas will be evaluated for novelty, need and feasibility.

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