2020-117 – Household Mask Maker and Dispenser

Background Face masks, especially in the current coronavirus pandemic, are vital in preventing disease transmission, by blocking and/or filtering viral particles. Unfortunately, in times of high demand, face masks become sparsely stocked and incredibly expensive, forcing more creative development methods to emerge. As a result, the CDC has recommended a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach to create masks, encouraging individuals to create masks or cloth face coverings on their own with common household materials. Bandanas, cotton fabric, and paper towels may be utilized, presenting the DIY approach as a cheaper and more widely accessible alternative to surgical masks and N-95 respirators. Despite these advantages, the development process requires time-consuming production, and the masks must be readily available at all times. Therefore, a more efficient method is needed to preserve the cost-effectiveness of the DIY approach, while diminishing mass production time and public accessibility. Technology Description Researchers at the University of New Mexico have developed a wall-mounted mask maker and dispenser. The device uses a simple system to automatically produce and dispense masks when prompted. Implementation of inexpensive materials preserves the cost-effectiveness of DIY mask production, while still following CDC recommendations and guidelines. Besides, the all-in-one housing of the device allows for installation in both internal and external building locations. Simplicity and rapid production make this device ideal for individual homes or public settings, such as libraries, universities, gyms, and offices. Andrew Roerick aroerick@innovations.unm.edu 505-277-0608

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