Combating COVID-19 Conference: A Collaborative Arduino Community Initiative

Farai Mudzingwa Avatar

Humanity is facing one of the most trying events in its history and as technologists, makers and designers we are asking ourselves how we can contribute to the efforts to help our fellow human beings and potentially save lives.

After seeing the equipment shortages faced by essential workers, people in communities all around the world have been working to design devices to help; we’ve seen people firing up their imagination and their 3D printers in the hope that it could make a difference.

A large number of these efforts are using Arduino technology and Arduino has reached out to offer their help, donate some hardware, provide engineering support and do whatever they can.

Arduino has also been approached by an increasing number of universities, research institutions and companies enquiring about the availability of high volumes of Arduino boards, specifically the Uno, Mega, Nano and Nano 33 BLE to support the manufacture of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other equipment. In response, they have prioritised these time-critical projects through their supply chain and distribution partners.

One thing that was striking, is the large amount of duplication in the design work people are doing – many people are spending valuable time trying to overcome challenges already addressed by others. There are also many teams with different strengths and skill sets that would be better working together than apart.

Arduino Statement

Due to all of this Arduino are inviting as many of these projects as possible to an online gathering on Thursday 2nd April at 17.00 CAT.

The goal of the conference is to get people talking and sharing ideas, to offer help on how to design and make hardware, how to think about the software, and how to scale manufacturing.

Finally and most importantly, to take guidance from medical professionals so that they can steer requirements and validate the designs to have the most positive impact.

Arduino’s COVID-19 conference is open to anyone currently using Arduino compatible devices within a project to design and manufacture ventilators, respirators or other devices to combat COVID-19. Be they a doctor, an academic, a professional company/researcher or an innovator – all are welcome to join.

You can also check out Arduino’s Forum for Covid-19 Projects here

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