I'm a local Electrical Engineer that decided to volunteer and help with an open-source PAPR or "Powered Air-Purifying Respirator" project:
PAPRs are essential for emergency medical personnel to be able to breathe safely in ICUs around Covid-19 carrying patients. As you probably have heard in the news, many hospital workers have been getting infected. Unfortunately, these PAPR machines, designed to protect ICU workers, are sold out just about everywhere :(
So we're designing a new, ultra low-cost one (est. $100-$300 instead of $1,200+)! We've got a dedicated team of 100% volunteer no-pay mechanical engineers, firmware developers, fabric hackers, and others.
However, as I've dug into this project more, it's quickly becoming a full-time requirement. I've been working day and night doing PCB development and there is not chance of getting paid for any of this (very stressful, very labor intensive) work.
Some others have high-paying jobs they are doing in addition to this work, but I don't currently have that luxury currently. There are also issues around R&D reimbursement, needing fast turn around PCBs (pricey), and other financial hurdles.
I've been working with a really cool team all around the world, and it has been exciting. Please see the images below of some of my work as well as some of the mechanical designs we have so far!
While there are a lot of projects around Covid-19 right now, not all of them have the practicality of actually making it to market soon. I feel like what we have is really special, and very achievable. Having some financial help would ensure my ability to continue contributing to this life-saving open-source design!
Funded by San Francisco, CA (April 2020)