Raspberry Pi, maker of the low-cost computers commonly used for DIY projects, has announced that it is ramping up production of Raspberry Pi Zero, to power ventilators for COVID-19 patients. Raspberry Pi Zero is the company’s cheapest and least powerful model, but it is capable of powering up ventilators due to the machines’ low compute needs. According to the company, they plan to produce 250,000 Zero-line products (Pi Zero and Zero W) for Q2 2020.
“Raspberry Pi ‘builds to stock’ rather than ‘building to order,’ so we generally have products either on-hand or in the pipeline with short lead times. I believe the interest in Zero is mostly down to it offering enough compute for the relatively modest requirements of a ventilator (potentially control air-handling components at fairly low frequency, handle a simple user interface),” Raspberry Pi CEO and Founder Eben Upton said in an interview.
It’s not only large manufacturers that require Pi Zero for use in producing ventilators. Marco Mascorro, a robotics engineer, built a Pi Zero-powered ventilator made from easy-to-source parts. Mascorro’s DIY ventilator is set to be tested by a team of researchers in Colombia.