Nvidia's Chief Scientist Debuts Open-Source Ventilator Model, Much Cheaper Than Traditional Ones

Anil - May 05, 2020


Nvidia's Chief Scientist Debuts Open-Source Ventilator Model, Much Cheaper Than Traditional Ones

The prototype was built from ready-made components that cost approximately $400. 

The open-source design of an economical, easily-installed ventilator was rolled out by Nvidia's chief scientist Bill Dally. Attempting to build it up in just a couple of weeks, he expected this product can be used in COVID-19 treatment. 

Ventilator Bill Dally
Nvidia's chief scientist Bill Dally

Bill Dally's ventilator cost him just a few hundred dollars with two main components: a microcontroller and a proportional solenoid valve. He also gave an explanation for his work in a video, in which the device was said to be able to accurately measure the flow and air pressure. 

Regarding the simple installation, it only takes a few minutes to set up the ventilator with a display and a carrying case. The prototype was built from ready-made components that cost approximately $400. 

Ventilator Open Source
Dally said the price can even drop below $100.

If the device is mass-produced, its price can decrease to $300. Especially, when using open-sourced, 3D-printed components, Dally said the price can even drop below $100. Meanwhile, the cost of traditional ventilators is much higher than that, considering a ballpark figure of around $20000. 

Dally’s device has successfully passed the test on a lung simulator, and it is moving on the next step now - getting FDA’s emergency use authorization. If Dally’s device is qualified, he will have to manage to manufacture it, which is such a challenging process, just like what other companies have realized. 

Following the trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, a slew of companies have been trying to create their own ventilators or lengthen the use of the current supply. Dally’s device was developed in collaboration with former students and his colleagues from Stanford, where he also works as a professor. 

>>> DRDO Builds COVID-19 Kiosk To Protect Healthcare Workers

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