Dyson Designed A New Ventilator In 10 Days And Will Make 15,000 Of Them

We all know Dyson for their high-priced bagless vacuum cleaners with powerful suction, the creations that have made James Dyson both a billionaire and a household name.

Now, Dyson and the company that bears his name have turned their air-flow expertise toward the COVID-19 pandemic fight and say they've designed a new ventilator in just 10 days.

Ventilators will be the key to surviving COVID-19 for countless people.

Unsplash | Tim Cooper

For those whose symptoms progress to that point, ventilators are literal lifesavers. They breathe for patients whose lungs have been overwhelmed by the disease. However, hospitals around the globe have seen far more patients in need of ventilators than they have in supply, leading to some heartbreaking choices about who gets to use one and who doesn't.

Anticipating a shortfall in their healthcare system, the U.K. government is seeking to increase their inventory of ventilators from just over 8,000 to 30,000.

Dyson, among many other companies in Britain, has been called upon to help fill that order.

Much as industry stepped up in WWII to produce thousands upon thousands of weapons and planes and tanks to defeat the Nazis, industry is being put to work to produce lifesaving materials to defeat COVID-19.

James Dyson said he received a call from Prime Minister Boris Johnson about the ventilator shortage, so he and his team of engineers put their vacuum experience, with expertise with things like digital motors, battery packs, airflow analysis, and HEPA filters to work.

In consultation with another team with some medical experience, Dyson and his crew designed and produced a prototype of a new ventilator, which the company calls the CoVent, just 10 days after that call.


In an email to company employees, Dyson reportedly confirmed that the government had already placed an order for 10,000 units. Dyson also said that the company would make another 5,000 units on top of that intended to be donated around the globe.

"This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume," Dyson said, adding that "the race is now on to get it into production."

However, it's still too early to say when exactly Dyson will be able to deliver on its production goals.


Critically, the government's regulators have yet to test and approve of CoVent's design, a hurdle all manufacturers will have to overcome.

"The critical point is to make sure that any machines that come forward actually meet the requirements and are safe," U.K. Business Minister Alok Sharma told the BBC.

All the same, a spokesperson told CNN that the company hopes to have their order of ventilators ready by early April. Of course, that won't make up the whole supply the government is looking for.

Dyson is far from the only company working on ventilators in the U.K.

The government has placed orders with several manufacturers, both those that have traditionally produced medical equipment and those that haven't but have good plans.

"The government will be looking at all options to make sure they have the right technology available to them," Neil Campbell of Inspiration Healthcare told The Guardian. "There’s a need for an awful lot of ventilators and if someone has a plan you’re going to look at it."

In the U.S., several manufacturers are switching over production to make ventilators as well.

Among them, Ford has announced that it will work alongside 3M and GE Healthcare to make medical equipment like ventilators and protective gear, and Tesla and GM have both indicated they will produce ventilators as well.

h/t: The Guardian, CNN