"In art, sometimes creativity just pops and sometimes it doesn't," says Maria Valdivia, an NYIT fine arts student who took the interdisciplinary Viscardi Industry Project course in fall 2015. In Valdivia's case, creativity flourished. She worked with fellow fine arts, engineering, and business management students to make gadgets and games that help disabled children and adults. The students created a driving simulator for a power wheelchair, a cooking video game, and a wireless remote (Valdivia's project). Guiding their work were faculty mentors, including Associate Professors Yuko Oda (fine arts), Richard Simpson, Ph.D. (electrical and computer engineering), and Joanne Scillitoe, Ph.D. (management).
The students presented their final projects on Dec. 18 to their client, The Viscardi Center, a network of nonprofit organizations, including the Viscardi School, that offers services for people with disabilities.
Leading up to the presentations, NYIT students and faculty members regularly met in person and via Skype with Viscardi School instructors and students to discuss project details. Following is a roundup of the projects:
Students: Mukhammad (Ali) Mukhamadiev, Cara Tamburello, David Colletti, Ryan Geffken, Jason Grima
About: The Driving Simulator allows users to practice operating a power chair in a virtual environment. A common problem for people with disabilities is passing the insurance test required to get a power wheelchair. There are few opportunities to practice and improve their proficiency. NYIT students sought a solution. A user sits in the chair, wears an Oculus Rift headset, and practices operating a joystick to drive through a virtual course.
Students: Kamron Myers, Belynda Ungurath, Maria Valdivia, Peter Lombardo
About: The Easy Remote interacts with infrared laser devices to perform a function. For example, NYIT students demonstrated a scavenger hunt game with the wireless remote. Point the remote at stickers embedded with infrared sensors and the stickers light up, change colors, or make a sound.
Students: Theodore Tetenbaum, Stephen Witte, Roberto Archibol Jr., Raymond Chen, Julian Hammond-Gibson, Alex Murta
About: Viscardi Cuisinier is a computer video game designed to teach children how to cook. NYIT students digitized their hand-drawn concepts using 2-D graphic tools, Wacom tablets, and digital painting along with Unity 3-D game software.