Rapid Prototyping of Urban Sensors

Exploring Smart Cities

Urban science revolves around using data to explore and answer questions about cities. Often this data is available through a variety of sources and is easily obtainable. In some cases, however, the necessary data may not exist and the need for building and deploying sensors becomes necessary. Simultaneously, the recent onset of new low-cost technologies, the ubiquitous use of wifi and cellular communication and a drive for smart and sustainable cities have opened the possibility for rapid prototyping and deploying of sensors in urban spaces. Given this context, what can we learn about cities from the deployment of sensors and how can we leverage these technologies to better understand a city’s infrastructure, environment and people?

This course will introduce the fundamentals of prototyping sensors and the techniques and considerations for deployment in urban spaces. Through the course students will learn the basics of electricity, programming microcontrollers, reading analog/digital inputs and wireless data transmission. Students will be challenged to not only explore sensor integration and data collection but to also think more broadly on how deploying sensors can help quantify and understand an urban issues.

A course taught at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress

Course syllabus