VUB team starts building simple respirator

A team from Brussels’ Dutch-medium university VUB’s FabLab Brussels has started work on the construction of a simple respirator. A prototype of the machine is already being tested and if the tests prove successful the respirator could be used in hospitals if the number of existing respirators there proves insufficient to the need created by the COVID-19 crisis. 

The design is based on a prototype from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a number of sensors added. The sensors that have been added are based on the specifications of researchers from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Brussels University Hospital in Jette.

Thanks to their national and international network the VUB’s engineers are in contact with collegues from the worlds of academia and commerce. These conacts provide constant feedback and suggestions on how the design can be improved.

The Head of FabLab Brussels Professor Marc Runacres told journalists that "This input is essential. Some companies have made components available. In normal time this would all happen much more slowly. However, now there is the realisation that we need to cooperate”.  

“Speed is now of great importance. First line doctors don’t currently have the time to exchange loose ideas with engineers. The FabLab team has chosen to build rather than talk”, Professor Runacres added.