NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Vanderbilt engineers are creating 100 ventilators from materials you can find in your garage.
Bob Webster and Kevin Galloway are both professors of mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University. They’re building these just in case Vanderbilt University Medical Center, or any other hospital around the world, runs out of ventilators and needs a quick replacement.
“We just want to have these on hand, so that if there are people who need one, then we can be in a position to be able to send one,” Galloway said.
Webster adds they’ve even been in talks with the U.S. military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan to help the local population there, saying there’s only five ventilators in the city.
Their design is made out of common objects like pool noodles, plywood, drawer slides, and a windshield wiper motor.
“At the very beginning of this, I put on some very extreme constraints,” Galloway said. “If I couldn’t make it in my garage, it was not a solution.”
They finished animal testing Wednesday, and physicians at VUMC said they feel comfortable enough to use their product on human patients, if need be.
Graduate students are working at Abel + McCallister + Abel, in donated space, to cut out all the wooden pieces of the ventilators, and sand them down.
The owner of Abel + McCallister + Abel says they normally help put on events, and build props. Switching to ventilators was different. But there’s never been a better time, with so many events in Nashville cancelled right now.
“We’ve got the opportunity to use our resources while they’re down to help anybody anyway we can,” owner Larry Abel said. “We love the ability to do that, so we’re happy to help.”
Galloway adds Nissan donated 100 windshield wiper motors to the cause, as well.
Galloway and Webster say they hope to have all 100 ventilators built in the next week.