AAMU Researchers Engaged in Multi-Party Endeavor to Build Low-Cost Ventilators
Taking on the Ventilator Challenge
In ongoing efforts aimed at combatting COVID-19, Alabama A&M University engineers and techs are working with several talented teams to bring to fruition an innovative and low-cost ventilator formed by 3-D printing technology.
The scientists have partnered with company and namesake COVID-19 Vent, which boasts locally producing a device with striking similarities to a traditional and high-demand medical ventilator, but with low manufacturing costs.
Already, other partnering entities organizing around the premier product include high-tech organizations and universities such as the University of Houston-Victoria, Electronic Alchemy via the Morningbird Media Corporation, Victoria East High School's Career and Technology Center (Tex.), and the Euro-Alliance Ltd with operations in Switzerland and India.
"We believe we have an opportunity to truly make a difference here,” said Dr. Chance Glenn, provost and vice president of academic affairs at the University of Houston-Victoria and president of Morningbird Media Corporation. “More importantly, we see people coming together, rallying around a cause, using whatever they can offer to help. This is what it's all about.” Glenn formerly served as dean of AAMU’s College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences (CETPS).
“We just saw the need, built it in Autodesk Fusion 360 in just four days, and the prototype came about in a week,” commented Corey Mack, founder at COVID-19 Vent. “Everything about this device is like fighting this virus. We are 100 percent full-force dedicated to design, adapt, and build these devices. By building the COVID-19 Vent in locales all over the country, we’re buying time to treat as many people as we can with the efficiency of local supply chains right in the same state.”
Dr. Wing Chan, director of the Special Project Laboratory in CETPS, is leading AAMU’s team effort. Touted pluses of the COVID-19 Vent focus on its ease of manufacturing by a single technician in an hour; its easily sourced parts within the U.S.; its safety features and other product highlights.
COVID-19 Vent—the operation—is building its first 10 ventilators in Rochester, N.Y., with swift plans to test them in five medical centers. The company is currently in talks for licensing in Switzerland and India, and it will seek FDA approval.
COVID-19 Vent founder Corey Mack is a North Carolina native and Rochester Institute of Technology alumnus living in Los Angeles, Calif. His LAFORGE Optical is a company that develops augmented reality eyewear.
Morningbird Media Corporation is a technology and innovation company that is launching the Electronic Alchemy eForge (www.electronicalchemy.com). The eForge is capable of 3D printing functional electronic devices and is expected to reach customers later in 2020.
AAMU is a fully accredited, more than 145-year-old land-grant institution offering degrees ranging from the baccalaureate to the Ph.D. Internationally respected as a center of learning, research, culture and opportunity, AAMU has produced nearly 40,000 graduates around the world. Similar to COVID-19 Vent, AAMU has established numerous collaborations with business and industry. “Start Here, Go Anywhere.” Visit www.aamu.edu.
- Jerome Saintjones