Team Chaos producing protective devices for medical professionals amid COVID-19
Donald Balch read about “it” on Facebook. The “it” he read about was what other robotics teams across the U.S were doing in support of medical personnel in wake of the COVID-19. He knew right away this was something that could happen right here in Pearl River County.
Donald told his wife Karen about what he saw and almost immediately Pearl River County’s Robotics Team Chaos jumped into production mode producing face shields and cloth masks for area medical professionals.
All photos and video courtesy of Team Chaos
Karen Balch, coach of Team Chaos, said the process uses a 3D printer to produce visors for the shields and straps for the cloth masks.
“With only one printer, it takes us a little while. We are able to produce from 4 to 6 per day,” she said.
The 3D printer being used by Team Chaos to print the visor (white in pictures) and yellow straps (for cloth masks) was purchased with funding from a grant by the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. The clear shield is 5 mil thick laminating sheets that are heated in a laminator machine. The girls of Team Chaos are sewing the masks.
Social distancing has made the production a challenge.
“Since we can’t meet together, we are working separately at our homes. The girls are working at two different homes on masks and surgical caps while we are doing the printing at my house with my son Kolby helping us with the process,” Balch explained.
Time lapse video of Team Chaos #D printing of visor for face shields
Team Chaos has delivered a total of twenty-six face shilds so far, with another six set for delivery tomorrow (Friday April 10), and another twenty-four are already spoken for according to Ms. Balch. She said they have delivered several dozens of the cloth masks. The masks are being delivered all over the region.
“We have delivered them to Highland Community Hospital in Picayune, a hospital in Mandeville, some in Bogalusa, and a Poplarville delivery is set for tomorrow (Friday),” she stated.
“The face shields are very lightweight and the materials can be sanitized and reused. Everyone who works in the medical field that sees them wants them.”
Balch says they will make the masks as long as she can get supplies.
Medical professionals can reach Karen Balch via her email at firstname.lastname@example.org