Datamars Engineering Science Award
RespiratorNZ’s ventilator adapts milking machine technology to help fight the global Covid-19 battle.
Jeff Sharp was keen for his plastics company to support New Zealand’s pandemic preparedness. Teaming up with his neighbours – both doctors – he settled on a challenging but vital piece of equipment: the ventilator. Starting with an old but effective mechanical model, the team modified it with robust electronic components from cup-removal technology used in dairying. After successful prototyping and testing, the ventilator went into production using local labour and suppliers. While demand did not eventuate locally, there has been great interest in it globally and the first order of VC Pandemic Ventilators has already been dispatched to West Africa.