The Medical Robotics Research Group of the University of Málaga (UMA) led by Professor Víctor Muñoz—which is responsible for the engineering behind the ‘Andalucía Respira’ project, a mechanical respirator designed for production in the fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic—has received a key boost: a commitment of 200,000 Euros from Málaga artists Antonio Banderas and Pablo Alborán.
Thanks to the generosity of these two international performers, the UMA group will have 200,000 Euros in funding for the next four years. Each of the sponsors has donated 100,000 Euros, according to a statement from the University.
This comes along with approval of the prototype by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices this past Friday. ‘Andalucía Respira’ is a new device that has three advantages over traditional respirators:
It can be manufactured in a record time of two hours, thus responding to the need for more respirators in the intensive care units (ICUs) of hospitals; it uses common industrial parts, reducing the risk of a shortage as it does not use parts found in traditional respirators; and its structure does not have any moving parts, which reduces the risk of mechanical failure and materials fatigue.
It was designed by a multidisciplinary team. The Medical Robotics Research Group of the University of Málaga’s Department of Systems and Automation Engineering participated along with healthcare professionals from the Regional University Hospital of Málaga and the Virgen de la Victoria University Hospital of Málaga as well as scientists from the Biomedical Research Institute of Málaga (IBIMA, for its initials in Spanish).
As sponsors, Antonio Banderas and Pablo Alborán will support the work that, within the framework of the ‘Andalucía Respira’ project, this team from the University of Málaga does. The team, lead by Dean Víctor Muñoz, has carried out and spearheaded numerous research projects on robotics since 1998.
TRANSFER OF RESEARCH RESULTS TO SOCIETY
Antonio Banderas and Pablo Alborán support the team behind the respirator made in Andalusia with 200,000 Euros.
Antonio Banderas, recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Málaga, expressed his great satisfaction to the UMA at being able to support this work: “After ten years of collaboration through the Lágrimas y Favores Foundation, it is immensely satisfying to be able to continue to support the research teams at the University of Málaga, this time along with Pablo Alborán.”
He also highlighted the possible international transfer of these efforts: “On this occasion, they have created a project that can save lives both in our country and abroad, and especially in many parts of the world where obtaining respirators is going to be no easy task. I’m very pleased.”
The President of the University of Málaga, José Ángel Narváez, expressed “his gratitude and exemplary recognition of the collaborators for the generosity of their sponsorship.” Likewise, Narváez underscored the relevance that the transfer of research results from public universities has for society.
The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) informed the Ministry of Health and Families of the Regional Government of Andalusia of the authorization for manufacture of the ‘Andalucía Respira’ respirator on Friday, April 10, after it successfully completed all the requirements for its approval. The first manufactured units are expected to be available in the coming days.