In this period of the covid-19 pandemic, some technologies appear at the right time: two Japanese concepts help to manage patients with respiratory problems and prevent the spread of the disease among users
A respirator developed in the Japanese city of Niigata has the particularity of being able to be manufactured with a 3D printer, wherever it is, even in space.
The four-piece device was printed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with the idea of manufacturing it for long-duration space missions.
A 3D printed pneumatic respirator
Dr. Ishikita Naoyuki, director of the Medical Equipment Innovation Department at Niigata National Hospital, is one of the creators of this space technology, which has been adapted for use on Earth from an anesthesia equipment for astronauts.
"The original project was to make an anesthesia machine," confirms Ishikita Naoyuki. "But in this time of the coronavirus pandemic we need respirators so we just broke my system," he continued. This fan is interesting because it is pneumatic, it does not require energy, only air pressure.
"A simple foot pump and an air compressor or an air and oxygen supply is enough to make the respirator work," says Ishikita Naoyuki, who wants to make it available to every country in the world for free after certification. "Because it is natural to help people," he explains. "Through my initiative to share data, we can save lives," he says.
Projection of 3D images in the air
There is another invention that is not limited to astronauts either. Made in Hiroshima, this non-contact screen projects 3D images that float in the air and can be manipulated with your fingers.
The screen called ASKA3D projects a liquid crystal screen into the air as a hologram. It is already used in museums, showrooms and congresses. There is no wear and tear and no transmission of diseases between users.
The concept was born in a high-speed train as its creator explains. "On a business trip, I would look at the landscape through the Shinkansen window and see the world in 3D," says Otsubo Makoto, inventor of the ASKA3D board at the Asukanet company.
"I thought that if I could store the light information in this 10mm thick glass, it would be possible to materialize the image floating in the air," he adds.
The potential applications are endless, according to the inventor. "Movie theaters, crowded public places, lockers at train stations, ATMs, cars, or dirty factory environments. This avoids touching the screens," says Otsubo.