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Spanish automaker SEAT has quickly developed a ventilator for the coronavirus fight that uses car parts and is being built on one of its automotive assembly lines near Barcelona.
Working from an open-source design, The VW-owned company’s engineers repurposed a windshield wiper motor to operate the device’s pump.
SEAT said it went through 13 prototype stages over the past two weeks before finalizing the design, which shares 90 percent of its materials with the Leon compact car model normally that’s manufactured at the facility.
The tower computer size-device is made from just over 80 electronic parts and is sterilized by ultraviolet light when completed.
The automaker collaborated with the University of Barcelona and several of its automotive suppliers on the project, along with a number of medical outfits and the Spanish government.
The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Healthcare Products – Spain’s equivalent to the FDA – has authorized it for clinical trials, and SEAT said it has the capability to build up to 300 per day when it is approved.
Ford and General Motors have also started work manufacturing ventilators from existing medical designs, while Tesla has incorporated parts from its cars into a prototype it is working on, but hasn't said when it would submit it for government approval or begin producing it.