We all know that the threat of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic is leading to a huge shortage of medical supplies in global medical facilities. Many major companies like Tesla, Ford and GM have come forward to manufacture the most needed equipment to support the COVID-19 patients – the ventilator. Now, to cut the cost of production of so many ventilators, manufacturers are using the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero to power the resuscitators.
The Raspberry Pi Zero is a tiny PCB that costs only $5 (~Rs 380) per unit and was made for small scale projects. It is the least powerful device in the company’s lineup that comes with a 1GHz single-core CPU with 512MB of RAM. This does not sound much in these times when a smartphone comes with 16GB of RAM. However, these specs are more than enough to power the breathing equipment for the C-19 patients.
As more and more manufacturers are using the Raspberry Pi Zero to make their ventilators, the company is planning to ramp-up production to meet the increasing demand.
In an interview with Tom’s Hardware, the founder and CEO of Raspberry Pi, Eben Upton said, “One of the main challenges with rapidly scaling manufacture of products like this is that you may be able to surge production of the air-handling elements, but you still need to provide the control element: often the components you need are on 20-week lead times and (hopefully) we’ll be out of the other side of this pandemic by then.”
The demand for the Pi Zero from consumers as well as manufacturers is increasing day by day amidst the current crisis. So, the company is planning to increase the production of the Pi Zero-line from 192,000 in Q1 to 250,000 in the upcoming quarter.