Tesla is using its considerable resources to produce life-saving ventilators that respirate coronavirus patients who are unable to do so on their own.
The electric vehicle company released a video that shows how its engineers have designed ventilators to use as many stockpiled Tesla car parts as possible so as to not burden medical equipment manufacturers further. As Tesla engineering director Joseph Mardall notes, his team understands the these components intimately and will therefore be able to work with them quickly.
The first prototype is shown functioning with a simulated lung before the packaged version of the ventilator—which is powered by the Model 3's infotainment system and touchscreen—is unveiled. A back-up system with its own battery, oxygen tank and air compressor can run for 20 to 40 minutes, allowing for patients to be transported without power.
The preview comes after Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised to make ventilators in the event of a shortage.
"Tesla makes cars with sophisticated hvac systems," Musk tweeted in mid-March. "SpaceX makes spacecraft with life support systems. Ventilators are not difficult, but cannot be produced instantly."
What is a ventilator?
The American Thoracic Society describes a mechanical ventilator as a device that takes over the work of breathing when a person is not able to breathe on their own. An endotracheal tube inserted into a patients windpipe is connected to the ventilator, which pushes a mixture of air and oxygen into the patient's lungs, delivering oxygen to the body.
Check out Tesla's fascinating video above.