Meet New York’s Newest Roboticists!
The MakerSpace at NYU Tandon became a shark tank of sorts on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, when high school students dove into entrepreneurship to pitch their robotic inventions to a panel of experts. The event was the finale of the inaugural NYU ITEST InnoVention competition, a National Science Foundation-funded project that aimed to show metropolitan-area high schoolers and their teachers how robots can turn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into a scintillating team sport with real-world applications.
Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School for Girls took first place with Pupbot, a pet-sitting robot that can watch, feed, water, and generally entertain cats and dogs. The students and their teacher, Aryeh Tiefenbrunn, comprise one of ten teams of high schoolers from all five boroughs and Long Island who brought robots, presentations, and talking points to the MakerSpace to vie for bragging rights.
As one participant noted in her presentation, cleaning one’s home takes time that may be better spent doing something else. Indeed, robots that do more than vacuum were big winners: Validus Preparatory Academy in the Bronx came in at the number-two spot with the VPA Cleaning Robot, while St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn took third place for Zeno, a robot that can sweep and mop.