COVID-19 Open-Source Innovation: Auditus and Gladitus


The COVID-19 Detect and Protect Challenge is crowdsourcing open-source hardware innovations to tackle the disease. Every one of the 300+ innovations submitted is made freely available, with all instructions needed for others to build them. Here, we talk to Weekly Impact Winners Luka Mali and David Kvaternik behind Auditus and Gladitus.

Tell us about your solution. How does it address a specific need around COVID-19 response/recovery?

The coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has brought to the forefront of the human domain a never before seen effort of all medical staff around the globe. The scope of this global operation is taking a big strain on medical professionals on one end, and of course, the many people combating the illness on the other.

Gladius is an open-source 3D printable respirator mask that uses existing filters used for ventilators and it is intended for the front line heroes working in the healthcare industry. In addition to Gladius, we have developed Auditus, an open-source app helps frontline staff to communicate unobstructed when wearing Gladius or another mask, coupled with PPE.

What was the inspiration behind the project?

A big hindrance that has presented itself in the hospitals is the struggle to communicate. Doctors wearing PPE equipment can only barely communicate without resorting to shouting in an effort to be heard by the people who need their help. To help better the workflow of doctors and other health workers, we developed this solution. Via a clever use of Bluetooth technology, Auditus enables better communication from worker to patient, and with even more useful features it presents an efficient tool for boundaryless communication between all involved in the quest to save lives.

Why do you think open-source is so important in responding to COVID-19?

Each of us is important for the reduction of the spread of Covid-19, as everyone has a particular power, knowledge or skills. Based on the open-source solutions, we can all already today do our best to defeat the virus.

What is the impact you hope to achieve with this solution?

This crisis has brought to the forefront of our attention a lot of mainly forgotten values. Now more than ever, we appreciate those who are normally behind the scenes. Auditus will enable all doctors around the world to execute their work better and with more precision without getting as exhausted.

On the other hand, it also enables other positives with its features like multilingual communication with patients who come from abroad, as it consists of many different countries which all speak different languages. With Auditus, we are striving to take the strain off the medical staff who are more fatigued by the day and at the same time provide communication where it is most necessary. 

To one patient, words of encouragement may be the difference between life and death and to others, sadly, they can be the last words they will ever get to hear. Our solution is focused at the humaneness of speech which at this time is being severely compromised and that presents a compromise of human dignity we should

About Luka Mali: Luka Mali is head of MakerLab Ljubljana, the first open prototyping laboratory at the University of Ljubljana and the co-initiator of FabLab Network Slovenia. He holds the position of a lecturer and a senior research associate at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, where his current work focuses on a Mobile and Wireless Networks, Low Power Wireless Networks, Connected Devices, and IoT applications. In his 15+ years career, he has gained experience in product development and manufacturing in the EU and Asia with 100,000+ products shipped annually and has managed to secure more than 500k crowdfunding funds. Luka is co-initiator of The Things Network Slovenia, the national public LoRaWAN sensor network, co-author of multiple international patents, and is an active mentor in the regional startup ecosystem. Luka leads the Auditus part of the project.

About David Kvaternik: David Kvaternik is a VR expert and 3D enthusiast and is skilled in various fields. When studying law, he led the development of a platform for interactive educational games for children. In 2012 David started developing virtual reconstructions of archeological parks under Yorefy brand as well as making animated videos for embedding in e-textbooks. He has been involved with virtual reality ever since the start of the Oculus VR Kickstarter campaign, believing that this technology promises the best option for a time machine. The latest project was a VR simulation of machine learning, which they developed with the Jožef Stefan Institute, Technology Park Ljubljana and the ICGEB Trieste Lab. The VR agency also develops AR experiences, video animations and special effects aiding the development with 3D laser scanning, photogrammetry and holograms. David leads the Gladius part of the project.