As reported by Elad Ratson, a team of more than 40 medical experts and engineers from Israel have recently released open source documents for AmboVent, a low-cost ventilator device, meant to address shortages due to COVID-19. While the machine has yet to undergo clinical trials, and is not officially cleared for use, such a unit could be a literal lifesaver when approved means of inducing positive air flow are not available.
The AmboVent employs a motor-driven linkage system to intermittently press down on a BVM (bag valve mask), providing positive air pressure to a patient as if it was operated manually. The system is controlled by an Arduino Nano, and dial potentiometers allow technicians to set BVM compression (how much of the bag is squeezed), respiratory rate, and pressure range. The device provides up to two hours of battery backup, and alarms are implemented for when something is amiss. An LCD display serves as an onboard monitor and stats can be shown and graphed on a laptop computer over USB.
Though still officially unapproved, the AmboVent looks well made in the video above, testing its inflation capabilities. Cost is estimated at around $500 using off-the-shelf components — including a snow blower motor with hex output, a SPARKmini motor controller, a SparkFun pressure sensor, and the aforementioned Arduino — and it’s designed to be compatible with parts and techniques used in medical facilities.
More info and documentation and files needed to build the system are available on GitHub.