Automated Breathing Assistance Concepts

Tolomatic automation of manual resuscitator (‘Ambu’ Bag)

The world’s attention has been captured with the current COVID pandemic. Tolomatic noticed a couple ‘open source’ design concepts for automating assisted breathing devices that were posted on the internet. As a company focused on motion control solutions, we wanted to explore additional ways to mechanically actuate an ‘Ambu bag’.

We put our engineering, sales and operations team in motion, and had some ideas for new designs that would offer some advantages versus a simple motor and camming design or a pneumatic cylinder. We have created concept designs that use screw driven linear actuators and servo/stepper motors to precisely control tidal air volume and frequency.

These proposed technologies are the first step in creating new and reliable ventilators for patients around the world. Tolomatics’ hope is to spark interest and conversation with other potential partners in developing a final solution that can be submitted for approval.


Both of these screw driven linear actuators convert rotary power from a servo motor into linear motion. This device now can control the velocity, the acceleration and the distance of any move at any point in time. Our mechanical device requires a servo motor, drive and some sort of control program. There would also need to be a user interface that could be done by knobs and switches, an HMI screen or a lap top computer.

Key Components:

  • Medically approved manual resuscitator package and extended tubing (Ambu bag).
  • Tolomatic linear actuator (ERD or BCS)
  • Servo motor & drive
  • Simple control solution
  • Rod-end ‘puck’ for bag compression
  • Box for holding the manual resuscitator and mounting the actuator


  • Automating the manual process to enable to non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for extended periods of time (days or weeks).
  • Ability to quickly change out the manual resuscitator package for new patients.
  • Ability to change not only the frequency of the induced respirations but also the volume. This is not possible with fixed displacement rotatory devices.

Additional Information:

Tolomatic Open Source Ventilator Design Overview

Concepto de Diseño Abierto al Público

Tolomatic COVID-19 Updates

Contact us:
Call (800) 328-2174 or (763) 478-8000
Contact Andy Zaske at


ERD Prototype

ERD w/ ACSi - Schematic Link - XML Link

ERD w/ ACS - Schematic Link - XML Link

ERD w/ Teknic ClearPath Motor and Arduino MicroController - Schematic Link - ClearPath Motor Link


BCS Prototype

BCS w/ ACSi - Schematic Link - XML Link

BCS w/ ACS - Schematic Link - XML Link