Design and Prototyping of a Low-Cost Ventilator for Rural Hospitals

Ruamrudee International School
Mr.Banphot Jandang
Miss Irawadee Thawornbut
Low-Cost Ventilator


This report includes the design and prototyping of a portable automatic bag-valve mask (BVM), or commonly known as the Ambu bag. This development is for use in emergency transport, resource-poor environments, and mass casualty cases like the COVID-19 pandemic. This device replaces the need for human operators whose job is to squeeze the BVMs for extended periods of time. The prototype is made from a stainless-steel skeleton, measuring 470 x 240 x 230 mm, with the addition of acrylic coverings. A repurposed motor from a car is used to drive the squeezing arm. The speed of the arm for inspiration and expiration along with the pausing time between each breath can be adjusted with this prototype. It also features an LCD screen to display the arm speed, along with real-time pressure graph displayed on both phones and computer monitors. For future versions, an app is to be developed to enable the control of the automatic bag-valve mask from phones and tablets, further creating ease for users and increasing portability. Additionally, important requirements will be added: alarm system for over pressurization, control for inspiration to expiration ratio, number of breaths per minute, control for tidal volume, pressure relief valve, and assist-control mode. The cost of this prototype is approximately $430. With this design of an automatic BVM, it allows for the production of a ventilator-like technology that will be able to perform main functions of basic ventilators at a fraction of the current cost.

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