In order to help people during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) in Yelahanka has created a prototype of a low-cost ventilator and did the first trial-run on Thursday.
The RWF’s technical team made use of the open-source ‘VentilAid’ design by a Polish company called Urbicum. K Raman, chief workshop manager of the axle shop at RWF said, “We got nearly half a dozen parts required for it from a 3D printing outlet in Jayanagar.
Our technical team assembled it here.” Raman said that it cost them Rs 15,000 so far. “It is still at a preliminary stage and needs a lot of fine tuning. We will rope in biomechanical engineers and doctors to help us. This ventilator is not an oxygen-based one but it uses atmospheric air,” he said.
Dr KN Manjunath of Vikram Hospital said, “A full-fledged ventilator would cost anywhere between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 7 lakh. There is still a long way to go before the device can be used as the Indian Council for Medical Research would need to approve it, he added.
Asked about the initiative, Raman said, “We wanted to use the time we have to see if we can do something during this crisis. Just five of us have created this. With our vast workforce, we can achieve a lot.”