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Arduino based designs for ventilators-COVID-19  


New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 3
2020-04-05 11:10 pm  

Dear Bill,

could you please make a session for making a simple ventilator to help communities in their fight against COVID-19. 
many thanks 

DroneBot Workshop
Workshop Guru Admin
Joined: 12 months ago
Posts: 536
2020-04-06 7:05 pm  


Actually you're at least the 10th person to ask me that! However I won't be doing that, and here is why:

  • Medical-grade electronics are very different than the hobby and commercial devices we are using. An Arduino is a wonderful component, but it is not certified for use in any device that maintains human life.  An Arduino failing in a small robot is an inconvenience, an Arduino locking up in a device that regulates breathing could be fatal.
  • If there were such a thing as a "simple ventilator" then factories around the world would be churning them out by the thousands right now.  These are sophisticated devices, and right now there are highly experienced designers working to build versions that can be certified and distributed as quickly as possible.  I would put a lot more faith in their skills than I would mine.
  • A medical ventilator is not a toy, it's a device meant to be used by trained medical personnel.  In the hands of an unskilled operator, it can be deadly.


Many of the emails I've received on this topic point out an Instructables article that is about a decade old.  That device (which was made of wood and scrap parts) is more of a proof-of-concept than a serious piece of equipment, and it certainly would be unsuitable for use with a human being.

Having said all that I DO, of course, recognize the good intentions of yourself and those who have taken the time to write to me about this.  The COVID-19 situation has affected all of us (we had a scare in my own family that thankfully was a false-alarm) and, as technically-minded individuals, we all would love to use our skills to help.

I do have a few ideas as to how we can apply those skills to help our friends and neighbors during this unprecedented crisis, and I'll be discussing them in the newsletter that I'll be sending out in a couple of days.  But building ventilators is not one of them.

Stay safe everyone!





"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak

New Member
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 3
2020-04-08 6:21 pm  

Many thanks Bill for the reply. You are highly professional and a great mentor.  Please keep it up. 😊