Design and Testing of a Low-Cost Ventilator to Battle the Global Pandemic

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, Proceedings (IMECE)






COVID-19 is an infectious disease that has dramatically affected the world, causing a pandemic and changing many aspects of people's lives and how they interact. The condition is highly contagious and aims at a person's respiratory system. A ventilator, a medical device that helps patients breathe when they are unable to do it independently, is needed because COVID-19 inflames the airways in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe normally. Ventilators are not the cure for COVID-19 but are a piece of equipment to help people breathe until that body function can be done independently. Such equipment can be expensive to acquire and cumbersome to operate. The Spartan Ventilator uses off-the-shelf equipment, economic controls, and robust techniques to supply a patient's lungs with oxygen. The system is designed for oxygen tanks that are commonly found within hospitals. However, a mechanical pump will be used as a substitute. All processes are controlled and monitored by an LCD touchscreen attached to an Arduino. The user interface is presented with simple buttons and menus to maximize screen space, provide quick readings of pressure, and control breaths per minute (BPM). PVC pipes, a cheap and durable material suitable for the non-volatile transportation of gas, were used. The valves we use are not definitive; they can be replaced with any 12V valve. The significant differences with the Spartan Ventilator are the price and the simplicity that the new technology has. The Spartan Ventilator can be very cheap compared to other professional ventilators that can be found in hospitals. The ventilator can be ten times less expensive than different professional ventilators while having the same efficiency and power.


Accessible, Arduino, Emergency, Low-cost, Off-the-shelf, Oxygen source, Pandemic, Regulator, Valve, Ventilator


Mechanical Engineering