You wanna get shit done? Call James Dyson. Here’s a bloke who has made squillions selling vacuums and so much more, has literally thousands of engineers on his payroll doing R&D into new products, and most importantly remains the boss of his own privately owned company.
What that means is, he has the cash, the people, the resources and the power to initiate a project at the drop of the hat.
Ten days ago UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called James Dyson and asked for his help.
The UK, like many countries, is suffering a shortage of hospital grade ventilators, the very machines that are being used to keep people with severe respiratory problems and suffering from Covid-19 alive.
What the UK Government wanted was a ventilator that was safe, was efficient in conserving oxygen, was easy to use, bed mountable and didn’t need a fixed air supply and could be portable.
Here we are, less than the time of a person’s isolation down the track, and they’ve done it.
The CoVent is a partnership between Dyson and The Technology Partnership which ticks these boxes. And because it uses a range of Dyson’s own technologies (like their Digital Motor) it could be produced quickly and in high volume.
James Dyson has announced he will donate 5,000 of the machines to the global efforts to fight this virus, 1,000 of which will go to the UK.
Here’s hoping they are churning them out of a factory as fast as they’ve been able to design it.
Below in James Dyson’s own words in an email to all Dyson staff is what they’ve achieved.
Hospitals are the frontline in the war against Covid-19, where heroic doctors, nurses, and care workers are battling to save lives and help people recover from this terrible virus. As with any battle, there are many challenges to overcome, not least the availability of essential equipment which in this case means ventilators. A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the UK and other countries around the world.
Since I received a call from Boris Johnson ten days ago, we have refocused resources at Dyson, and worked with TTP, The Technology Partnership, to design and build an entirely new ventilator, The CoVent. This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume. It is designed to address the specific clinical needs of Covid-19 patients, and it is suited to a variety of clinical settings. The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production.
The Dyson Digital motor sits at the heart of the new device and the motor’s design is optimised to have a very high level of intrinsic safety, making it particularly well-suited for industrial, high volume production. The device is designed to achieve a high quality air supply to ensure its safety and effectiveness, drawing on our air purifier expertise which delivers high-quality filtration in high-volume products.
Ventilators are a regulated product so Dyson and TTP will be working with the MHRA and the Government to ensure that the product and the manufacturing process is approved. We have received an initial order of 10,000 units from the UK Government which we will supply on an open-book basis. We are also looking at ways of making it available internationally.
I am proud of what Dyson engineers and our partners at TTP have achieved. I am eager to see this new device in production and in hospitals as soon as possible. This is clearly a time of grave international crisis, I will therefore donate 5,000 units to the international effort, 1,000 of which will go to the United Kingdom.
We will keep you updated with our progress.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.