We Repurposed Our Robots To Help During COVID-19

Posted by Jonathan Mui on

Project Save Ears: On-Going Updates!

    We started this project as a way to do our part and contribute in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, what we didn't expect was how well it would be received by those with ears we saved and those who sought to help save other's ears.

    If you want to donate some ear-savers or order some for yourself, click here.

     

    Our project featured on Global News

     

    Backstory:

    This whole idea started when I saw this article about two volunteers who 3D printed valves for life-saving treatments for the Coronavirus. I wanted to re-purpose our 3D printers, which are huge print-farm machines, capable of printing twice as big and fast as most 3D printers on the market, to contribute to helping fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

    More specifically, I wanted to print things that would help those front-line workers who stay at work, putting themselves at risk, so that we can stay safe at home.

    After looking at masks and face shields and consulting a family friend who is also a pathologist, I decided that something like that would be difficult to get a hospital of approving the use of. I also heard many stories about people online who have been printing face shields, only for no one to accept them.

    Then a mentor of ours, Kelso Brennan (serial entrepreneur in Edmonton) sent me a direct message with a screen shot which eventually led to a post on r/HumansBeingBros.

    Boy Scout makes Ear savers mask straps for front line health care workers

    This was perfect, exactly what I wanted, something front-line workers would actually use/would be able to use. 

    So I got to work, taking this guy's design and re-mastering it to be more efficiently printed on my large printers. Most people's 3D printers can probably print 6-10 at a time.

    Collectively, ours were capable of printing 72 at a time, this changes the game. Unlike individuals with regular 3D printers, allowing them to only provide a few dozen to the hospitals and clinics, we were producing about 400 of these per day.

    Then I made a post on the r/edmonton subreddit, and suddenly it just blew up, we even made it on Global News that night! That much attention meant suddenly we were getting donations to keep printing, people were ordering ear-savers for themselves or their staff, and hospitals, paramedics, nursing homes and more were all requesting them. We probably got over 1500 units worth of donation requests that day. 

    older-design-printer-30-at-a-time

    Image of printing 30 at a time per printer (before we optimized our printers to print faster / better / more.)

    So we buckled down and got to work, Denise (my girlfriend) and I would stay up, setting alarms to harvest and start the next print, clean the print beds, swap rolls of filament, etc. Organize and wrapping each order / donation, spray painting 3D filament boxes to be re-purposed for shipping, making thank you stickers, and eventually driving around the city to deliver these to the people in need.

     

    The Results

    Here is a list of all to people and facilities that received ear-savers, some pics, and credit to the donors that made this project sustainable!

    Notes:

    - Some recipients were simply front line workers / healthcare staff that ordered, and we would up-size their order so they can share ear savers with others in the community. This made it easier to get ear savers to everyone who needed them. 

    - To protect the privacy of the donors, we have only included their first name and last initial.

    Currently we have produced, delivered, and donated over 4,380 ear savers. 

     

    510 Ear Savers- Our very first donation went out to a Nurse at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and a couple other health care workers.

    nurse's feedback on earsavers

    Feedback from the nurse at the Royal Alex

    Donors:

    • Tyler C.
    • Shannon D.
    • Dave H.
    • Yvonne K.

     

    60 Ear Savers - University of Alberta Hospital: Respiratory Therapists

    Nurses at the University of Alberta Hospital using ear-savers

    Donors:

    • Hersharon S.
    • Leeanne P.

     

    450 Ear Savers University of Alberta Hospital: Cross Cancer Institute

    Cross Cancer Institute worker receive Agriolabs ear savers

    Nurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear saversNurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear saversNurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear saversNurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear savers

    Nurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear saversNurse at the Cross Cancer Institutes wearing Agriolabs ear savers

    Donors:

    • Bridgette C.
    • Jeff H.
    • Si Qi C.
    • Jowell Vince S.

     

    120 Ear Savers - Capital Care Grandview:

    Grandview staff wearing agriolabs ear saver Grandview staff wearing agriolabs ear saver

    Donors:

    • Jowell Vince S.
    • Richard H.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Long Term Care Home in St. Albert

    Donors:

    • Albert W.
    • Guy S.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Nurse at Stollery Children's Hospital

    Stollery Childrens Hospital

     

    Donors:

    • Lisa D.
    • Richard H.


    210 Ear Savers - University of Alberta Hospital GSICU Dr. Peter Brindley 

    Dr. Peter Brindley's Tweet about our ear savers

    Donors:

    • Dave H.
    • Danielle S.
    • Kristine H.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Nurse at University of Alberta Hospital ER

    university of alberta hospital emergency room

    Donors:

    • Darren C.


    60 Ear Savers - Family Doctor at St. Albert Summit Family Clinic

    Two Medical staff at the St. Albert Summit Family Clinic

    Donors:

    • Jennifer Y.
    • Jennifer M.


    210 Ear Savers - Leduc Hospital/LA Medical Clinic

    Leduc Hospital/LA Medical Clinic staff with Founder of Agriolabs

    Donors:

    • Glenna R.
    • Chris C.


    90 Ear Savers - RN(Registered Nurse) at the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

    Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre

    Donors:

    • Guy S.

     

    360 Ear Savers - Miseracordia Hospital ER

    Donors:

    • Shannon D.
    • Danielle S.
    • Shelly M. 
    • Shawn B.
    • Stephanie D.
    • John Van S.
    • Jerome H.
    • Krista H.
    • Chris C.

     

     

    150 Ear Savers - Edmonton General Hospital

    Edmonton General Hospital Ear savers donation

    Donors:

    • Kelly S.

     

    120 Ear Savers - Grey Nuns Hospital

    grey nuns hospital edmonton

    Donors:

    • Amanda T.

     

    90 Ear Savers - AHS EMS Paramedics | Northwest Station

    Alberta Health Services EMS Paramedics

    Donors:

    • Lynne N.
    • Amanada B.
    • Robyn A.

    90 Ear Savers - AHS EMS Paramedics | Meadows Station

    Donors:

    • Krista H.
    • Robert P.

    210 Ear Savers - AHS EMS Paramedics | Undisclosed Station

    • Guy S.
    • Sean V.

     

    150 Ear Savers - AHS Cochrane Urgent Care Centre

    cochrane urgent care center

    Donors:

    • Robert P.
    • Sam M.

    240 Ear Savers - Various AHS Employees (technicians, nurses, sanitation staff etc)

    AHS employees

    There were a bunch of individual AHS employees that reached out to us asking for a few ear savers each. We couldn't keep track of their occupations and some didn't disclose to us exactly what their occupations were within AHS, so we're just putting them here.

    Donors:

    • Scott W.
    • Cliff C.
    • Amanda G.
    • Allen C.

     

    150 Ear Savers - A Pharmacy working with the CES Covid Shelter

    Donors:

    • Guy S.

     

    120 Ear Savers - Ophthalmic Technician At the Royal Alexandra Hospital Emergency Clinic

    Royal Alexandra Hospital

    Donors:

    • Guy S.
    • Crystal K.

     

    150 Ear Savers - Barrhead Health Care Center

    Barrhead Health Care Centre

    Donors:

    • Doug G.

     

     30 Ear Savers- Prospect Villa Group Homes

    Donors:

    • Jessica F.

     

    30 Ear Savers - Kitchen Staff at Lifestyle Options Whitemud Senior Home

    kicthen staff at lifestyle options whitemud in edmonton

     Donors:

    • Jessica F

     

    60 Ear Savers - Epcor Essential Workers

    Donors:

    • Michael B.
    • Mark M.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Ellerslie Registry

    Donors:

    • Michael B.
    • Colin Z.

     

    240 Ear Savers- HANJAN: Edmonton Korean Restaurant Giving out Free Meals to Front Line Workers

    hanjan yeg restaurant giving free meals to edmonton front line staff during covid19 pandemic

    HanJan Yeg is an amazing restaurant run buy another young entrepreneur, who like us, decided to do our part in helping our frontline workers during this pandemic. We gave them 240 units so they could give some out to the frontline workers that they serve. 

    Donors:

    • Melissa D.

     

    120 Ear Savers - AHS Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

    Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

    Donors:

    • Melissa D
    • Malina A.

     

    300 Ear Savers - Local Business EuphoriaLash we partnered with to Help Us Distribute to Healthcare Workers in Edmonton

    local business euphoria lash uses their social media to help us distribute ear savers to local front line staff

    Donors:

    • Malina A.
    • Lauren Ashley O.
    • Helen W.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Dr. Paul Ng Dental Office

    Donors:

    • Scott O.

     

    120 Ear Savers - Company in Alberta's natural resources industry, Lee Specialties Inc

    Donors:

    • Janet W.
    • Romar D.

     

     

    90 Ear Savers - St. Margaret's Bay Chiropractic Centre Health Care Clinic

    Donors:

    • Wanda M. 
    • Ian C.

     

    120 Ear Savers - Cambrian Pharmacy

    Donors:

    • Robert H.
    • Malina Au.

     

    60 Ear Savers - Symmetry Dermatology

    symmetry dermatology ear savers

    Donors:

    • Romar D.
    • Kelly P.

     

    471 Ear Savers - Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital

    Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital

    Donors:

    • Beth S.
    • Romar D.
    • Mandeep H.

     

     

    Special Mention:

    Thank you to Beth S. who fired up her own 3D printer and was able to give us 111 ear savers to donate after a couple weeks!

    111 Ear savers that were donated to us by local edmonton person