All-girl robotics team from Afghanistan debuts low-cost ventilator for coronavirus patients

  • 01 Aug - 07 Aug, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Mag Files

A robotics team made up entirely of young women from Afghanistan has developed a lightweight, low-cost ventilator that, pending approval, may soon be seen in hospitals across the country amid the coronavirus fight. The Afghan Robotics Team first began developing the ventilator back in March, after COVID-19 struck. The need was great, as the country reportedly has just 800 ventilators to treat patients. With high school student and team captain Somaya Faruqi at the helm, she and six other teenage girls put their brains together to develop the machine, which can reportedly run on battery power for 10 hours and costs about $700 to produce – significantly less than the $20,000 price tag of a traditional ventilator. To put their prototype together, the girls mainly used Toyota Corolla car parts, like windshield wiper motors. Though the teens’ ventilator still needs to be tested by health authorities before it can be used.