COVID-19 is Still Lurking

May 5, 2020 in Outreach, Slideshow by Scott Rippetoe

While many places are starting to reopen for business, COVID-19 is still a significant concern. With stay-at-home measures in place and most businesses only open for pick-up, the infection rate was very close to 1.0, meaning one person was infecting one additional person. To see a drop in the overall number of new cases, that rate needs to be lower. Some states are achieving this, but with recent changes we may see an increase in infection rate.

The need for Personal Protective Equipment remains and probably will for several months, possibly into the summer of 2021. That depends on advances made in COVID-19 treatments, the development of a vaccine, the response by individual states, and the build up of immunity in the population. Some states still have intensive care units operating above capacity. Fortunately, Texas has excess ICU capacity. I hope we do not need it.

Thus far, we have distributed at least 1889 face shields, but we currently have requests for nearly 1700 more. We have supplies to make an additional 600 of the ProShield (1477 design) and 1200 of the Manta Ray Protective Visor. VEX Robotics has enough plastic to make at least 10,000 RobotShields (148 design). They are marked out of stock on the VEX Robotics website because they are working to take care of all their donation requests, including those that we can place with them as a partner in the Texas Robotics PPE Project.

Financially, we have over $13,000 in our PPE account, with about $1000 of that encumbered toward recent purchases. So far, we have paid for purchases using our PayPal account and kept that money separate from the team funds in our account at Amegy Bank. We also have team money in the Activity Fund of the Academy of Science and Technology. When a purchaser requires a credit card instead of PayPal, we have used our Amegy debit card then reimbursed the team with a transfer from PayPal. That is the encumbrance mentioned above.

We had a CAD challenge to design an Intubation Chamber. While it has not cleared hospital trials yet, we have applied for a patent. Michael Menezes came up with the basic layout and I contributed additional features based on feedback from medical staff. Here is the most recent photo.

Intubation Chamber Rev3

For now, there is not an urgent need for the team to raise more money for the Texas Robotics PPE Project.

Coronavirus Efforts: Update 4/23/20

April 23, 2020 in Outreach by Sammy Lo

We have recently made many developments in our efforts to help our community during these trying times.

Texas Torque has now surpassed the 1,000 mark for distribution of faceshields. This is a combination of the RobotShields and 3D printed face shields that were created through the efforts of Texas Torque families and other volunteers. We have also worked to provide 3D printed protective visors and Surgical mask ear lobe savers to medical professionals all around the state.

This weekend we are excited to test a new project at the HCA Healthcare Houston facility in Conroe.

We are excited that VEX Robotics has started shipping RobotShields. These come in a pack of ten for $40.  If you would like to contribute to the fight against coronavirus and have the means to do so, all proceeds raised on  www.robotshields.com go towards medical professionals. These shields also make great gifts for your favorite healthcare professional!

We are thankful to have been featured on  KPRC 2 News during a newscast (https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2020/04/20/high-school-robotics-teams-making-3d-printing-face-shields-to-donate-to-healthcare-professionals-and-first-responders/) and have been posted on FaceBook by ABC13 News (https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2491205394488983).

As always, if you have the means to do so, we ask for continued support from our community either through a monetary donation to the GoFundMe link below. or by spreading these links and our message through social media or directly to friends and family.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/first-teams-for-ppe-face-shields

 

Coronavirus Face Shields: Update 4/19/20

April 19, 2020 in Outreach by Sammy Lo

Robotics teams around Texas have been working hard to deliver Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) to medical professionals both locally and across our state.The tremendous progress we’ve made has only been made possible because NEMA Enclosures, a longtime team sponsor, has started cutting the plastic for the face shields at 200 face shields per day and Texas Torque families have been assembling these face shields at their homes. In the last few days, we’ve assembled over 400 face shields and will have 400 more ready for assembly by Tuesday. Just yesterday, we provided more than 200 face shields to hospitals. Total output of face shields has exceeded 900 and we hope to continue to create these shields. So far we’ve delivered PPE to over 20 locations and this equipment is still in high demand as several locations are still waiting to receive supplies.
Below is a face shield worn by a pediatrician.
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We are also excited for VEX robotics who plan to ship RobotShield kits directly to healthcare providers tomorrow. Now, they have supplies to die cut about 5000 of these shields. As the plastic for these shields become easier to find, this progression has increased.

We are so thankful for all the donations we’ve received. Again, we still ask for continued support from our community either through a monetary donation to the GoFundMe link or paypal link below. or by spreading these links and our message through social media or directly to friends and family.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/first-teams-for-ppe-face-shields

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Coronavirus Face Shields and the IB-2000XL: Update 4/9/20

April 9, 2020 in Outreach by Sammy Lo

Texas Torque has continued to work towards the creation of 3D Printed Face Shields to protect medical personnel from exposure to the coronavirus. So far we’ve provided almost 200 face shields to medical professionals in our community, and we are receiving more plastic soon to create more. Our longtime sponsor Nema Enclosures has started cutting the shields designed by team 148 Robowranglers with their water jet which expedites the creation of these shields to about 230 shields created per day.

We’re also working with sponsor AndyMark who is shipping us pieces of polycarbonate that will be used in the creation of the IB-2000XL. We plan to create our first intubation box over the weekend and deliver it to the hospital on Sunday. Below is the design that we will be using to create these boxes.

IB-2000XL

We are excited to be meeting with ABC13 to spread our cause and message to those in Houston and hopefully spread encouragement during these trying times. Again, we still ask for continued support from our community either through a monetary donation to the GoFundMe link or paypal link below. or by spreading these links and our message through social media or directly to friends and family.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/first-teams-for-ppe-face-shields



 

Intubation Box: IB-2000XL Update 4/8/20

April 8, 2020 in Outreach by Sammy Lo

Texas Torque is pleased to share that the prototype of the student designed intubation box, what we’ve named the IB-2000XL, has been approved. We will begin to manufacture these boxes as soon as Friday and Saturday with our goal still set on the creation of eight intubation boxes. These boxes go over the upper torso of patients and protect medical staff from exposure to the virus as someone inserts an intubation tube and a second person compresses a bag to help them breathe. The patient is then connected to a ventilator. These devices also feature armholes with silicone gaskets and a port to connect suction to the box in order to create enough pressure in the box to remove the virus. We hope that these boxes will provide further protection for medical professionals and reduces their stress during these trying times.

We are thrilled to have received assistance from our community, but we still need continued support. Despite the great support that we’ve already received of $11,000 through our GoFundMe, the devices cost about $200 each and the group has already spent a total of almost $20,000. We hope to continue to medical personnel of our community but cannot do so without the help of our community. We ask those that would like to help to donate at the link below or share this cause to friends and family or on social media so we can continue to work together against the spread of this vicious pandemic.
gf.me/u/xuazry

Coronavirus Masks and Intubation Box: Update 4/6/20

April 6, 2020 in Outreach by Sammy Lo

As the coronavirus epidemic continues, medical staff around the world have been scrambling to find adequate protection equipment to prevent the further spread of the virus. We have been working hard to do our part to help our community during this pandemic  alongside several robotics teams including team 118 Robonauts and team Robowranglers on several projects.

We are very thankful for the support that we’ve received from our community including the Conroe Courier and ABC13. Below is the link to the article from the Conroe Courier:

https://www.yourconroenews.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/Conroe-ISD-robotics-team-turns-design-skills-into-15176999.php

Although it has just been a few days, we have continued to make substantial progress on our projects. Our lead mentor, Mr. Rippetoe has created a modified design of the Biased Tape Guide that has been very popular on Facebook, especially in the Million Mask Challenge. This modified design has been sent across the country to hundreds of sewing group.

We have also been working with other robotics teams and have provided over 150 3D printed face shields to medical facilities and currently are in the process of making another 300 of these shields. Since these shields are reusable and can be used for hours rather than weeks, the demand for these face shields continues to increase. We hope that as the design for the shields are finalized, we can continue to send these shields across the country.

unnamed (1)

We have also been working on designing an intubation box for the staff at Conroe Regional Medical Center. After cutting the parts for the preliminary design on Saturday, the box was put together yesterday. We’ve received feedback on the box and once the necessary modifications have been completed, we plan to make eight of these boxes for their facility.

unnamed

If you’d like to help us in our efforts towards our goal of creating 10,000 face shields, we would appreciate donations to the Go Fund Me link below or to the Pay Pal link below.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/first-teams-for-ppe-face-shields