Ventilator prototype

Case study: Mobile Ventilator

From concept to working prototype in under two-weeks.

In early April 2020, with forecasted concerns of ventilator shortages, researchers saw a void that needed to be filled quickly during this COVID-19 crisis. Responding to a call for assistance, Promation immediately committed pro-bono support and joined the fight against COVID-19. The result was a working ventilator designed and built in only two weeks. Here’s how we did it.

The challenge

In response to the forecasted shortage, Promation was contacted by the University Health Network (UHN), University of Toronto (U of T), and Mackenzie Innovation Institute (Mi²) and challenged with the task of developing a low-cost ventilator to help respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Promation solution

With a massive public health emergency on the horizon, we assembled a team of designers, engineers and automation experts, and got to work. Together, we designed, machined, programmed, built and tested two functioning prototypes, to ensure reliability, durability, safety and ease of use. What’s more, we did the first prototype over a weekend. (No small feat.)


In response to the challenge, we built a low-cost ventilator that can be easily mass-produced. We also shared our findings and design with teams around the world, to help the global fight against Covid-19.

Watch: How to build a working prototype, in only three days.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Promation team for their engineering expertise and generous support. Prototypes like this often take months or years to develop. The Promation team worked almost around the clock to develop this version in just two weeks.” 

Dr. Azad Mashari // Anesthetist and University Health Network (UHN). lead researcher


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