‘Garage inventors’ is a term used to describe individuals or groups of inventors that create independently. They are not on a salary or salary/incentive basis, paid by their companies to invent; they work alone, on their own or in small groups, generally in someone’s garage or other part of the home.

Popular Science recognizes the accomplishments of these independent inventors yearly in the June issue of its magazine. Today, we take a look at OneBreath.

Inspired by the need to help more patients in a crisis situation, such as a pandemic, postdoc fellow at Stanford University, Matthey Callaghan developed a no-frills ventilator that runs on a 12 volt battery that works for up to 12 hours and can be easily transported.

Because hospital ventilators typically cost from $3,000 to $40,000, hospitals generally would not have enough ventilators for patients who need them in a pandemic.

Callahan and a few fellow students took on the ventilator project so that hospitals would be prepared… just in case.

Their device uses a $10 pressure sensor like one you would find in a blood pressure monitor. It pumps air into the chest through the mouth and a sensor monitors how much air is in the lungs. Sensor data is fed into a software program to calculate the data, letting the ventilator know when the patient needs air again.

Photo by Popular Science.