As the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread it became painfully apparent the world didn’t have enough ventilators to deal with the influx of patients.

What followed was a rally-cry around the world to create ventilators. Telsa was one firm that set to work making equipment and now Nvidia has thrown it’s hat into the ring, but in an entirely different way.

Chief scientist at Nvidia, William Dally, has built a ventilator using $400 (~R7 533) worth of parts you can pick up from a hardware store.

The idea is that the ventilator can be produced rapidly to address the shortage.

The scientist worked with Paul Karplus (noted for his work in autonomous vehicles and robotics), Emma Tran (a fourth year medical student), Dr Andrew Moore (a chief resident at the Stanford University School of Medicine), Dr Bryant Lin (a medical devices expert) and (anaesthesiologist) Dr Ruth Fanning.

For testing Dally asked Dr David Gaba for assistance in testing what the ventilator was capable of.

On 4th April Dally shared a video with his Nvidia colleagues showcasing a working ventilator.

Dally is currently in the process of getting emergency use authorisation for the ventilator from the US Food and Drug Administration at which point he and Nvidia will tackle the best way to produce these ventilators.

While the pneumatic components of the ventilator can picked up off the shelf there are also sensors which control the pressure, compensate for valve inaccuracy.

“I hope that we don’t get so many people sick that we run out of ventilators. But I want to make sure if we do, something like this is ready,” said Dally.

The full design can be found here along with Dally’s research.

[Source – Nvidia][Image – Nvidia]
Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.