A unique experiment is in progress for teaching design and manufacturing across the curriculum. Funded by the ARPA-Technology Reinvestment Program, and monitored by NSF, an organization called The Virtual Corporation was created to simulate inter-disciplinary product development in a large manufacturing company geared towards consumer products. Students registered in senior project classes in several engineering and business departments became the virtual employees of the company participating in design, manufacturing, and marketing in this simulated industrial setting. The product chosen was a robot for outdoor applications: autonomous, self-navigated, all-terrain, electric vehicle. This paper examines the methodology used, the educational goals achieved, and the lessons learnt from this one year experiment. Sufficient information is provided to enable duplicating this experiment elsewhere.

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