Parrot offers design support on MakAir respirator as part of COVID-19 effort

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Parrot has said it is proud to support the French medical profession facing Covid-19 by sharing the MakAir open source respirator project with its experience in engine design and integration.

The engine is an essential and very demanding part of any ventilation device: constant power, controlled vibrations, sufficient reliability and endurance to allow 24/7 operation for 6 weeks.

Parrot says its expertise allows it to offer 500 engines that perfectly meet these criteria, for the launch of the MakAir project, which it says is both ambitious and simple.

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Ultimately, as part of industrialisation in France, Parrot will have made 5,000 engines available to the project.

The genesis of the MakAir project

The magnitude of the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the entire medical chain worldwide. In particular, it highlighted a shortage of artificial respirators, which are essential for intubating the most severe patients for one to three weeks.

In France, a project coordinated by Air Liquide aimed to increase the production of artificial respirators from 200 to 10,000 per year, starting in May 2020. This project brings together many manufacturers.

A second nonprofit project has spurred initiatives to create a simplified artificial respirator from standard components to help alleviate the shortage as soon as possible.

Quentin Adam of the Makers For Life collective, in collaboration with Professors Antoine Roquilly and Pierre-Antoine Gourraud of the Faculty of Medicine of Nantes, and Erwan L’Her, Head of the Intensive Medicine and Care Department of the Brest CHU, proposed an innovative concept of a simplified artificial respirator, based on a software regulation of inspiration-expiration, directly from the pneumatic system (and not from electromechanical ventilators).

This architecture makes it possible to simplify the very complex management of the lungs under Covid-19, to dispense with multiple measurements and displays, and to use fans and standard components.

The Nantes developer team turned to the CEA for the industrialization of this concept, which had already been the subject of a proof of concept at the Brest University Hospital.

The financing of the project until its industrialization was provided by “public money” (direct and indirect funding, made available to resources):

– by the foundation of the University of Nantes, the CHUs of Nantes and Brest, with the support of Pays-de-Loire and the community of Nantes

– by CEA with the support of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region

Tags : Coronavirus
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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