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Engineering Skills Development Laboratory


On the 19th of November 2011, the School of Electrical and Information engineering gave birth to a new laboratory called the Engineering Skills Development Laboratory (ESD), also known as the “Playpen”. The Laboratory was established under the supervision and leadership of Professor George Gibbon, who has a vision of developing passionate, inventive and skilled electrical engineers. The ESD lab is designed to develop a generation of young skilled and innovative engineering students who are intrinsically motivated. These engineers have the ability to design, construct and play with the projects they have designed. One of the skills that will be developed is the ability to visually interpret and analyze conceptual information they have learnt in lectures.

Joshua Berman is one of the students who has taken full advantage of the engineering skills lab. He recently designed and constructed a bipedal robot in the ESD lab. His zeal for electrical engineering drove him to make a bipedal robot in a period of less than two months despite the workload from his lectures. The robot is still in a developmental stage but already functional.  Other students are welcome to see his work in the skills lab. He is also available to answer any questions or listen to any input that may help improve the functioning of the robot.

Joshua Berman’s bipedal robot.



In February 2012, Mayor Chiba a third year biomedical engineering student invested his time in designing and constructing a muscle wired robotic bug. Students are encouraged to come and contribute further to the development of the bug.

Mayor Chiba’s muscle wired robotic bug.



During the Wits orientation week, all postgraduate students were given an opportunity to demonstrate their projects in the ESD lab. Many of our first year students started working on their first varsity projects in that week. Working in the laboratory acted as a confidence booster for them. This was achieved by learning how to use measuring equipment in a friendly environment.


First year students working on their first year project during orientation week.