Tesla engineers show ventilator prototype on YouTube

Tesla shows how its building ventilators with car parts		
		
	Matt Burns

			@mjburnsy	 
		7 hours

As US hospitals brace surge in COVID-19 patients, Tesla has started developing a ventilator prototype that uses parts of its high-tech Tesla cars.

The prototype ventilator shown in the video uses a touchscreen display used in Model 3 electric cars that measures the intake of oxygen into the lungs and removing carbon dioxide from the body.

Tesla says there is still a lot of work to do, but the company has already delivered 1,000 traditional ventilators from Medtronics, with that work going on in parallel.


On 19 March, Tesla founder Elon Musk tweeted that his company would make ventilators if they would be needed. In the following video, the company provides a behind-the-scene look at its ventilator design process.

The automaker didn't offer a timeline for when it expects to have an FDA-approved production-ready version of the device or where it will be built, but Elon Musk had previously suggested it could possibly manufacture ventilators at Tesla's idled solar-panel factory in Buffalo, while the Model 3 is manufactured at its Fremont, Calif., and Shanghai, China, facilities. The reason is simple: vehicle parts are available. Without doing so, having a shortage on, say, door handles can shut down a production line. A group of doctors, engineers and medical researchers from UC Berkeley, UCSF and working hospitals has devised a creative solution to the ventilator shortage they're hoping will meet FDA standards for emergency use authorization (EUA), working with readily available hardware and a stockpile of medical breathing equipment that's resting mostly unused under our noses.

On March 30, Ford Motor Co (F.N) said it would produce 50,000 ventilators in the following 100 days at a plant in MI in cooperation with General Electric's (GE.N) healthcare unit, and could then build 30,000 per month as needed.

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