The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has awarded Formlabs an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a 3D-printed part designed to convert BiPAP machines designed for sleep apnea into much-needed ventilators. The offering was one of dozens of ventilators and accessories granted such authorization over the weekend.
The company plans to devote 150 3D printers at its Somerville, Mass. plant to producing the part, which it says it will then distribute to hospitals and local governments throughout the U.S.
“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA had only authorized a handful ofEUAs over a 30-year period,” CEO Max Lobovsky said in a release. “Hospitals around the country can also use Formlabs’ printers to create these adapters locally under their own practice of medicine, meaning printing the adapters at scale in the hardest-hit areas is as easy as uploading a design and pressing print.”
Formlabs is one of a number of different 3D-printing companies springing into action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented situation has created a number of distinct challenges for which the technology is uniquely suited. Formlabs has specifically been working on a number of solutions in recent months, including a swab designed for COVID-19 test kits. Other projects include mask shields and adapters for converting snorkel masks to PPE.
As it mobilizes its supply chain, employees, and partners to provide personal protective equipment to medical workers and others working to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, Apple has sourced over 20 million face masks and is now building and shipping face shields, according to a statement from chief executive Tim Cook.
Apple is dedicated to supporting the worldwide response to COVID-19. We’ve now sourced over 20M masks through our supply chain. Our design, engineering, operations and packaging teams are also working with suppliers to design, produce and ship face shields for medical workers. pic.twitter.com/3xRqNgMThX
— Tim …
Robotics, AI and automation have long been one of the hottest categories for tech investments. After years and decades of talk, however, those big payouts are starting to pay off. Robotics are beginning to dominate nearly every aspect of work, from warehouse fulfillment to agriculture to retail and construction.
Our annual TC Sessions: Robotics+AI event on March 3 affords us the ability to bring together some of the top investors in the category to discuss the hottest startups, best bets and opine on where the industry is going. And this year’s VC panel is arguably our strongest yet:
Eric Migicovsky is a general partner a Y Combinator. Prior to joining the firm, he co-founded Pebble. The smartwatch pioneer was itself a YC-backed venture, along with raising three of Kickstarter’s all-time top crowdfunding campaigns. Migicovsky joined YC following Fitbit’s acquisition of the startup in 2016.
DCVC partner Kelly Chen focuses primarily on the AI, robotics, manufacturing and work-related sectors. Her work is generally focused on the world of hardware, along with the transformations of populations and labor.
Dror Berman co-founded Innovations Ventures in 2010 with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt. A key driver in the firm’s investments in Uber, SoFi and Formlabs, Berman also focuses on robotics, including companies like Blue River Technology and Common Sense Robotics.
TC Sessions: Robotics+AI returns to Berkeley on March 3. Make sure to grab your early-bird tickets today for $275 before prices go up by $100. Startups, book a demo table right here and get in front of 1,000+ of Robotics/AI’s best and brightest — each table comes with four attendee tickets.