SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - A Cal Poly professor and his students are switching gears to aid in the coronavirus response by putting together manuals for ventilators.
Ventilators are being used more and more because of COVID-19. There is now a shortage of ventilators, plus many existing ventilators are breaking down.
Ventilators are what help a patient to breathe when they are no longer able to breathe enough on their own.
Cal Poly professor Eric Paton is asking his spring engineering students to study ventilators.
The students will be teaming up with iFixit, a San Luis Obispo company with a website that teaches people how to fix things.
The students will create technical manuals for ventilators. Those instructions will then go on iFixit.
Paton says this will make it easy for nurses and doctors to fix machines if they need to.
"I chose to work on supporting the existing ventilators that are in the field because it's something that we can make an immediate impact on," said Paton.
He is still seeking help from medical professionals who work with ventilators. He wants to know what parts break down the fastest and also what ventilator machines are the most common.
That way the class can work on what's needed most first.
There are around 70 students in the class which begins the first week of April.
Paton hopes that they will have completed the project by the end of the course in about ten weeks.