Tesla engineers demonstrate coronavirus ventilator prototype

Engineers at Tesla Inc showed a prototype for a ventilator on Sunday evening in a video published on the company's YouTube channel, as hospitals around the country overwhelmed by coronavirus patients face device shortages.

The design for the ventilators relies heavily on Tesla car parts, one of the engineers said, enabling the company to redeploy existing stock and produce the devices quickly.

The video comes two weeks after Chief Executive Elon Musk said Tesla planned to reopen its New York factory to produce ventilators.

The timeline for production was not specified in the video.

"There's still a lot of work to do," said one of the engineers, "but we're giving it our best effort."

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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
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Pictures of the week: April 5 - 11
A road sign advising drivers to stay home and not to travel during the Easter Weekend on the M80 near Banknock as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Adverts encouraging people to stay at home are displayed in an empty Picadilly Circus, as the UK continues its lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Empty streets and boarded up shops, restaurants and theatres on Old Compton Street in Soho, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
A teenager draws a rainbow and an NHS logo on the wall of her house in Liverpool in support of the NHS as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A police officer talks to members of the public about adhering to social distancing guidelines in Northampton, as Northants Police announce they are toughening up their social distancing enforcement, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Two knitted NHS doctors are fitted over bollards outside a house in Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
An image of Queen Elizabeth II and quotes from her Corona epidemic broadcast to the UK and Commonwealth is displayed in Piccadilly Circus, London. Picture date: Wednesday 8th April 2020. Photo credit should read: David Jensen/ EMPICS Entertainment
The Nishkam SWAT (Sikh Welfare & Awareness Team) mobile outreach service serving hot meals and drinks to the homeless and less fortunate from their van in Trafalgar Square, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Customers queue outside a store, standing two metre apart guided by social distancing floor markers in London, UK on April 8, 2020. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care with the coronavirus, infecting more than 55,000 people across the country and nearly 6,200 have died. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
Medical staff demonstrate how they take samples at an MOT testing centre in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is being used as a drive through testing location for Covid-19, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Christmas lights are used to show appreciation for the NHS on a house in Cambridge Drive in Chandler's Ford near Eastleigh, Southampton, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Three police officers wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as a precautionary measure against Covid-19, visit a home in Brixton, south London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Monday April 6, 2020.
A woman jogging on the Millennium Bridge in London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Shuttered stores and police patrols on Ann Street in Belfast, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
John Fowler of IHP at the new temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital North West being built at Manchester Central conference centre in Manchester, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Picture taken at 1046am of Military personnel help administer Covid19 tests for NHS workers at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A woman walks past a boarded up restaurant in Edinburgh's Old Town as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Dog walkers maintain social distancing at Blyth beach near Whitley Bay in Northern England as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The BT tower screens a message encouraging people to stay at home, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
General view of a visibly quiet Westminster Bridge in London, UK on April 6, 2020. Last night Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to St Thomas' Hospital for undergoing tests after suffering 'persistent' symptoms of coronavirus for 10 days, this evening Prime Minister Johnson condition worsened and he was taken to intensive care. There have been almost 50,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and almost 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Claire Doherty/Sipa USA)
The National Gallery is closed to the public due to the spread of coronavirus. Boris Johnson, announced strict lockdown measures urging people to stay at home and only leave the house for basic food shopping, exercise once a day and essential travel to and from work. Around 50,000 reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United Kingdom and 5,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Rahman Hassani / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Robin Smith, 20 exercises at Endcliffe park in Sheffield. The British Government imposed nationwide lockdown to minimise the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (Photo by Yiannis Alexopoulos / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Beach patrol speak with a member of the public while patrolling the seafront in Brighton, East Sussex, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of Coronavirus.
File photo dated 27/03/20 of a rainbow made from bottle caps in Muston, Leicestershire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Queen Elizabeth II gave a televised message to the nation during the coronavirus outbreak.
People buy ice creams on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public sunbathe in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Police move on sunbathers in Regents Park, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Cyclists by the river Avon in a near-deserted Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
A 'Please stay 2 metres apart' sign on Brighton beach, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Members of the public exercise on Primrose Hill, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
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Governments globally have appealed to carmakers and aerospace companies to help procure or make ventilators and other medical equipment amid the increasing number of coronavirus infections.

More than a million people have been infected worldwide by the coronavirus, while over 65,000 have been killed. The United States has the most number of cases at above 300,000.

On March 30, Ford said it would produce 50,000 ventilators in the following 100 days at a plant in Michigan in cooperation with General Electric's healthcare unit, and could then build 30,000 per month as needed. GM is building ventilators with Ventec Life Systems, with plans to reach a level of 12,000 units per month.

Musk said on March 31 that Tesla planned to supply FDA-approved ventilators free of cost to hospitals within regions where the electric carmaker delivers.

The Financial Times has reported that the devices donated by Musk to some New York City hospitals were not the type of ventilators that have been in demand for use in intensive-care units. Rather, they were Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machines, typically used to treat sleep apnea but recently approved by the FDA as an alternative in the event of a ventilator shortage.

This article originally appeared on Autoblog
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