(LOS ANGELES) — Elon Musk’s electric car company Tesla is one of many that has shifted its production to making ventilators to help in the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s released a now-viral video of its handiwork.
While sneaker companies like New Balance and clothiers like Brooks Brothers have been making masks for first responders, Tesla is using its existing car parts to create ventilators for supply-strapped hospitals.
While it might seem far-fetched at first glance, it turns out to be a good fit. Ventilators are machines that help people who can’t breathe to do so, using a series of feedback sensors and valves. And Teslas, like any cars, are loaded with pressure sensors and valves that keep an engine “breathing.” Add a ton of engineering know-how, and Tesla’s apparently off to the races.
The automaker’s efforts are engineered to build the devices without using components that other companies need to make their own ventilators, freeing up the supply chain. Their prototype uses Tesla’s famous entertainment touchscreen as an interface for a medical professional to use. However, for now it’s only that: a prototype.
“There’s still a lot of work to do, a mask-wearing engineer admits in the video, “but we’re giving it our best effort to make sure we can help some people out there.”
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