French drone maker, Parrot will be supporting the MakeAir open-source ventilator project by donating 5,000 motors to help build the devices. Parrot will give 500 motors at the launch of the project and continue to manufacture the rest.

The motors are the heart of the ventilators, which must run 24/7 for six weeks straight. Parrot’s expertise in motor design will allow them to provide the ventilators with constant power, controlled vibrations, reliability, and the efficiency required when compromised patients aren’t able to breathe on their own.

Along with Parrot, Renault, Michelin, and HP are also stepping up to deliver components for the ventilators.

The MakeAir project

MakeAir‘s ventilator project is open-source, with all the information needed to produce them available for free on GitHub. This allows contributors from across society to join in. Currently, there are more than 200 contributors, including makers, developers, university instructors, researchers, and medical teams.

The ventilators currently cost “well under” 500 Euros (about $543), say the project leaders. And they claim the price can drop to around 100 Euros with volume production and cheaper components. The Github project allows contributors to 3D print ventilator components. (The recommend medical-grade plastic to reduce risk of contamination or the chance of a part breaking.) An Arduino mini-computer can run the ventilator.

Ventilators are critical to the fight against COVID-19, as some patients develop severe cases of pneumonia that prevent them from breathing on their own. Ventilators force air into the lungs, so the patient can continue breathing until the lungs recover.

Photo: Parrot & Makers For Life


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