The company said it is developing ventilators using car parts without taking away from the medical device industry’s supply.
“We have been working on developing our own ventilator design, specifically one that is heavily based on Tesla car parts,” engineering director Joe Mardall said in the video. “We want to use parts that we know really well, we know the reliability of and we can go really fast and they’re available in volume.”
The ventilator prototype is designed with a hospital-grade air supply system that then goes into a mixing chamber that is a car part used in Tesla vehicles. Oxygen and air mixes in the chamber and pressurizes and moves through various sensors and an air filter to be fed into a patient’s lung.
Tesla’s makeshift ventilators also have a monitoring screen made from a Tesla Model 3 center display touchscreen that is powered by the Model 3’s infotainment computer, which typically controls Model 3 vehicle controllers. The vehicle controllers have been reconfigured to communicate with precision variable valves on a manifold.
The setup gives clinicians three different wats to control what’s happening in the patient: pressure-regulated volume control, pressure control or volume control, according to Tesla.
Tesla’s system also features a backup system consisting of an O2 tank, a backup battery and an air compressor.
Tesla announced in March that it would reopen its New York production facility to manufacture medical devices instead of solar panels to assist Medtronic in producing ventilators. Elon Musk has also reported delivered more than 1,000 ventilators to the U.S. and has received criticism from the act as he donated various sleep apnea ventilators.