BREATHNEY is an R&D-project to duplicate full functionality of a medical ventilator, with the needed accuracy, robustness and reliability, while selecting only parts that can be quickly sourced in large volume from non-medical industrial sectors.

The goal is a redesign-from-scratch of an existing technology for mass rapid manufacture.


This project was started on March 17th by a small group of engineers at Fablab Brussels as a 4-day rush to replicate the MIT-ambubag concept:

We based our spec list initially  on the specifications needed for a ventilator for ADRS-patients, written by Julian Botta, Johns Hopkins Hospital:
Specifications for simple open source mechanical ventilator Public

We have benefitted from advice from UZ Brussel as well as Industry. 

This project has grown into a 50+ team, non-profit effort to develop a rapid-manufacturable, open-source ventilator for COVID-19.
The team currently consists out of mechanical & electronic engineers, a doctor-on-site, medical advisors, a group of programmers & reinforcement from experienced R&D-engineers from Flanders Make.


Beta Series 1, as of April 4th, features:

  • accurate pressure & volume control
  • p-, V- and flow-graphs in a graphical interface
  • redundant pressure sensors
  • pressure control mode, volume control mode
  • full user-configurable pressure curve (Ppeak, Passist, RR, IE, ramp)
  • breathing detection & breathing assist mode
  • alarms on configurable error ranges for achieved pressures and volumes
  • battery backup
  • a mature & robust pump design that can be rapidly manufactured from laser-cut aluminium sheets
  • a pump design with sufficient power that has no issues achieving the highest pressures, volumes and respiratory rates specified in the MHRA emergency certification requirements.
  • an electronics architecture where the main microcontroller and the connected PC each act as each others watchdog and give an alarm when the other one stops working.
  • possibility to enable remote monitoring of multiple machines

Prototype 7 – April 2nd