The Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris, on August 28, 2020 visited the Department of Industrial Design and Technology (IDT) in the Faculty of Engineering and Technology where he was taken on a guided tour to appreciate final year students projects and innovations. The Vice Chancellor was invited to appreciate the projects since the department could not hold its annual Degree Show this year due to disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the projects that Professor Norris viewed was a Ramanek Automobile designed by Lebogang Marvin Daniel. The automobile is an off-road convertible designed to help a paraplegic to move from one place to the other easily. The automobile which looks like a quadbike, functions with a battery.
The Vice Chancellor was also shown a toilet system called turbulent flusher designed by Sekao Mabote. The system’s main innovative feature is an electronic float sensor that monitors the water feeding process of the cistern through a simple programming and manipulation of the pipe system to apply pressure within the tank so that less water is used per flush (7.5liters/flush).
Another fascinating device was an innovation by Patience Gabaitse which she has simply called Woofie’s Well. This is a dog water dispenser that ensures constant water supply for a dog while the owner is away. It is connected to the main water supply system and has a simple float valve that controls the inflow to maintain a constant water level.
Inspired by Merlyn Monroe’s mantra, “give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world,” Tshephang Legotlwane looks set to conquer the world with her design of ergonomic high heel shoes. An ergonomic high heel is a high heeled shoe specifically designed to address ergonomic aspects that most shoe designers overlook. The shoe targets parts that usually experience discomfort for people who wear high heels.
A collapsible street vendor structure is yet another innovation that is set to be a hit with street vendors. Kevin Chabwe designed the structure as a response to bylaw regulations that forbid street vendors from erecting permanent structures.
Other projects that excited the Vice Chancellor, included a multifunctional fordable bed that can also be used as storage space and study table designed by Kaone Lekgethiso, Miss Botswana crowns design by Ofentse James and Atlang Phiri as well as a semi-automatic poultry feeding system for a small or medium scale poultry venture designed by Phenyo Goaitsege.
Professor Norris could not hide his excitement when he said the projects had potential to generate third stream income for the University especially at a time when government resources were dwindling given the country was going through a difficult economic period.