As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, the need for medical equipment is becoming ever more urgent. American electric vehicle builder, Tesla, has joined the fray along with other car manufacturers to produce life-saving medical equipment.
As mentioned in the headline, the firm will be making ventilators out of parts from their Model 3. “We’re trying to make some ventilators out of some car parts, so that we can help out the medical industry without taking away from their supply,” Lars Moravy, Tesla’s vice president of vehicle engineering, says in the video.
From video, we can see Joe Mardall, who’s the engineering director of Tesla, standing in front on a whiteboard with a “high-level schematic design” on it showing us how the electric vehicle company is planning on using car parts and medical machinery to build working ventilators.
From the schematic, we're shown by one of their engineers, just how the system works. As the engineer explains, the hospital’s breathing air supply goes into a mixing chamber where the oxygen is mixed in with the air. The mixture then passes through a valve body which is then used to create pressure and volume wave forms. After a trip through the valve body, the air passes through a series of sensors to measure things like flow rates and pressure.
The air is then passed through a HEPA filter and then administered to the patient. The exhaled air then goes through a set of sensors before heading to the exhale valve. This is done to create a positive amount of air pressure in the patient’s lungs which keeps it from collapsing.
The entire ventilator system is controlled via the computer that runs the Model 3’s infotainment system, which then operates the Model 3’s vehicle controller unit which in turn runs the set of variable valves.
The pressure, flow rate and volume data is charted and displayed via the Model 3’s infotainment screen. The data can then be used to help medical professionals treat their patients better.
“There’s still a lot of work to do,” Moravy says in the video. “But, we’re giving it our best effort to make sure we can help some people out there.”
Meanwhile, according to a report by CNBC, Tesla has yet to announce to the public any sort of timeline as to when they will be completing their design or when it will be moved into the production phase.
Watch this space for more updates.