Recently, Public Invention President Robert L. Read and other volunteers assisted a project with students from Fraunhofer Institute. The Institute released a press release summarized here:
In April, COVID-19 began straining healthcare systems as we saw supply-chain breakdowns leading to ventilator shortages. To help mitigate this, individuals, communities, companies, and research institutions began to design and develop ventilators that could be manufactured using local and freely available resources – as open-source hardware (OSH).
The OPEN.Effect project began in May 2020 with the goal of collecting, analyzing, and evaluating information on open-source projects for manufacturing ventilators during the pandemic. In collaboration with Public Invention, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK developed a solution approach based on the publicly viewable COVID VENT LIST, a list of projects on open-source ventilators created by Public Invention members Dr. Robert L. Read, Keeshan Patel, Juan Enrique Villacres-Perez, and Avinash Baskaran.
Based on the list, the Institute conducted interviews with representatives from projects in the OSH community. These interviews provided an overall picture of the status of these projects, which led to guidance that might be helpful for OSH projects in the future. Overall, the study showed that it is possible for open communities to successfully develop and manufacture rapid and secure solutions to a critical problem during the pandemic.