The procurement and maintenance cost of high‐end ventilators preclude their stockpiles sufficient for the mass emergency situations. Therefore, there is a significant demand for mechanical ventilators in such situations. Herein, a low‐cost, portable, yet high‐performance design for a volume‐controlled mechanical ventilator is proposed. Pneumatic artificial muscles, such as air cylinders, are used in the inverse mode of operation to achieve mechanical ventilation. With the current design, the two fundamental modes of operation (controlled mode and assisted mode) are demonstrated. Unlike most intensive care unit ventilators, the proposed device does not need a high‐pressure air pipeline to operate. The device is capable of mechanical ventilation for respiration rate ranging from 10 to 30 b min−1 with a tidal volume (VT) range of 150–1000 mL and the I:E ratio of 1:1–1:5. A total cost of less than $400 USD is achieved to make one device. The cost to produce the device in larger volumes can be estimated to be less than $250 USD.
For more information: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/aisy.202000200