Entry Date:
June 20, 2016

Project Manus

Principal Investigator Martin Culpepper

Co-investigator Conor McArdle

Project Manus was initiated in October 2015 by Provost Martin Schmidt. Our mandate is to create the gold standard in next generation academic makersytems. The effort is led by MIT Professor, Martin Culpepper, and is housed within MIT's Innovation Initiative. There are three phases. Phases 1 and 2 run through spring 2017, after which phase 3 begins:

(1) Solutions: Develop modifications that will transform our makerspaces (over 120,000 ft2) into the 'gold standard' for next generation academic makerspaces.
(2) Implementation: Implement solutions to upgrade legacy spaces and integrate the new MET makerspace (20,000 ft2) with the legacy spaces.
(3) Long-term: After phase 2, MIT will have over 45 major makerspaces that occupy more than 150,000 ft2. Project Manus is slated to become the MIT office that will see to the continued function and evolution of these spaces.

Phase I programs include:

Mobius - MIT has over 45 major makerspaces that make up MIT's makersystem! Mobius will be our students' one-stop-shop 'window' into that system. The Mobius mobile app enables students to find the resources they need, pay for materials/usage fees, demonstrate training credentials and schedule use of resources. Mobius will be launched at MIT in March 2016.

Mega Makerspace - MIT is investing in a new, 20,000 ft2 state-of-the-art makerspace. Project Manus is leading the design, layout and programing of this space.

Maker Safety - We are working with MIT's EHS office to review and adapt MIT's policies, procedures and training standards so that we maintain a high level of safety within makerspaces while providing broader and more rapid student access to maker resources.

Makerspaces 101 - Project Manus is leading an effort in partnership with peer institutions (Stanford, Berkeley, Georgia Tech, Yale, CMU, CWRU, Olin) to create the 1st guide book for academic makerspaces. The book will cover best practices/processes for creating and running academic maker spaces.

Maker Training - Our student makers/entrepreneurs need fast access to maker resources, but they must be trained and safe prior to accessing makerspaces. We are implementing tiered training program, where our staff feels it makes sense. Tiered training breaks the 'many tools at once' (MTO) approach (often used in universities) into several smaller sessions.