The Inventor of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners Built a COVID-19 Ventilator in 10 Days

Sir James Dyson is the richest person in the U.K. with a net worth of $6 billion. Stuart Wilson/BFC/Getty Images

Sir James Dyson, the founder of Dyson Ltd., whose cordless vacuum cleaners and hairstyling products have charmed the world, has designed a hospital ventilator for treating severe COVID-19 patients in less than 10 days to fulfill the alarming shortage of this device worldwide.

The Dyson ventilator, called “CoVent,” was developed just a week after the company received an order earlier this month from U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson (who was confirmed to have contracted the virus on Friday) to produce 10,000 ventilators to help hospitals in the country cope with an influx of coronavirus patients.

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“A ventilator supports a patient who is no longer able to maintain their own airways, but sadly there is currently a significant shortage, both in the U.K. and other countries around the world,” James Dyson told Dyson employees in an internal letter on Wednesday obtained by CNN Business.

“This new device can be manufactured quickly, efficiently and at volume,” James Dyson added. “The core challenge was how to design and deliver a new, sophisticated medical product in volume and in an extremely short space of time. The race is now on to get it into production.”

Dyson plans to manufacture 15,000 units, of which 10,000 will go to U.K. hospitals as the government asked and the rest 5,000 will be donated to international effort to fight against the coronavirus. A company spokesperson said the ventilators would be ready by early April. 

A Dyson competitor in the U.K. is also working on ventilators. Gtech, which makes cordless vacuum cleaners and garden power tools, has submitted two examples to the government for assessment.

In the U.S., automakers, including Tesla, Ford and GM, are utilizing their HVAC [Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning] manufacturing facilities to produce ventilators to fulfill domestic shortages.

The Inventor of Dyson Vacuum Cleaners Built a COVID-19 Ventilator in 10 Days