Mercedes-AMG F1 and UCL open-source breathing aid designs

Northamptonshire-based Mercedes-AMG F1 has made the designs for its reverse-engineered breathing aid freely available to help fight COVID-19.

Mercedes-AMG F1 UCL CPAP device

Mercedes-AMG F1 and University College London (UCL) have made the designs for a reverse-engineered breathing aid freely available to help the global fight against COVID-19.

Details can be downloaded for free at a new UCL COVID-19 research hub.

The package includes the designs, plus specifications of materials, tools and equipment required, and the fabrication time for each part.

UCL and Mercedes-AMG F1 engineers

Mercedes-AMG F1 and UCL engineers worked ‘around the clock’ to develop the improved device, allowing the first one to be produced fewer than 100 hours after the original meeting.

The team have developed a product that is 70 percent more efficient than the first design. It has already received full regulatory approval.

Mercedes-AMG F1 HPP

The Brixworth, Northamptonshire factory normally used to produce racing star Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 engines has now been fully repurposed to produce the life-saving device.

A total of 1,000 a day are now rolling off the fast-tracked production line.

The first 10,000 breathing aids, called the UCL-Ventura device, are going to the UK government for use by the NHS.

The device is a ‘Continuous Positive Airway Pressure’ CPAP breathing aid.

Patient demonstrating CPAP device

It helps Covid-19 patients for whom an oxygen mask alone is insufficient. Medical experts say it is a vital device that bridges the gap between oxygen masks and full ventilators.

Andy Cowell, MD of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, said: “Since the project was announced, we have received an incredible number of enquiries about the CPAP device from around the world.

“Making the design and manufacturing specifications openly available will allow companies around the world to produce these devices at speed and at scale to support the global response to COVID-19.”

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Richard Aucock
Richard is director at Motoring Research. He has been with us since 2001, and has been a motoring journalist even longer. He won the IMCO Motoring Writer of the Future Award in 1996 and the acclaimed Sir William Lyons Award in 1998. Both awards are run by the Guild of Motoring Writers and Richard is currently chairman of the world's largest organisation for automotive media professionals. Richard is also a juror for World Car Awards and the UK juror for the AUTOBEST awards.


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