Thai tech students create mini-ventilator prototype

With hospitals in many countries searching for ventilators to save the lives of Covid-19 patients, students at Thailand’s King Mongkut Institute of Technology have created a prototype of a portable emergency ventilator costing no more than $300 compared to a standard price tag of almost $30,000.

The students at King Mongkut Institute of Technology Latkrabang (KMITL) spent about a month on the project. They said the device’s chief advantages are its compact size and affordability. The ventilator’s biggest drawback is that some of the parts need to be imported. Trade channels have slowed down during the pandemic.

In addition to the ventilators, students at King Mongkut University of Technology  Thonburi (KMUTT) also unveiled a robot this week they created to help healthcare workers care for Covid-19 patients. Students at the Institute of Field Robotics (FIBO), named the robots FACO for FIBO against Covid-19. They are the latest recruits in the homegrown artificial intelligence army of robots in Thai hospitals, following the Ninja robots that recently grabbed global media attention.

Unlike the black-colored Ninjas, the FACOs are blue and white and so appear friendlier. However, both are effective in caring for and monitoring patients and reducing the risk of healthcare workers contracting the virus.

“The robots are designed for telemonitoring and communication between medical personnel and patients, helping frontline healthcare professionals ward off the risk of infection,” said Djitt Laowattana, founder of FIBO.

The students produced four prototype robots and system platform, and are hoping to deploy them this month at three Bangkok hospitals.

King Mongkut’s educational institutes are Thailand’s leading research, engineering, and technical institutes and have been at times rated among the best schools in the country. Founded in 1960, offered areas of study include engineering, architecture, agricultural technology, science, industrial education, agricultural industry, information technology, and liberal arts.

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