Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dean Kamen Has A New Project

You may recognize the name Dean Kamen as the inventor of the iBot, the wheelchair that stands up and works on gyros to place paraplegics in a standup position as well as doing things like climbing stairs. He is also the inventor of the Segway.

Mr. Kamen has never found a project he did not like to try and solve. He owns more than four hundred American and International patents on various things from medical devices to now a water purification product that could save millions of lives!

Now, at 63, Dean Kamen is working on what may be his biggest problem! He is certainly not slowing down just because of his age, and is truly a lifelong learner and teacher.

I just read an incredible article that was originally published in June 2014 in Popular Science magazine and is now available at this website:

It is an informative read and the numbers are staggering about what our world can be if we simply had clean water!

To think over one billion people, that is almost one-seventh of the world's population, does not have access to clean drinking water on a daily basis. I had heard about Kaymen's most recent adventure in a news story on the radio on my way to acupuncture yesterday.

After doing a little research on Dean Kamen and knowing him from his past adventures, I found this article. According to the article, “Fifty percent of all the people in the developing world suffer from waterborne pathogens,” he says. “We’d empty half the beds in all the hospitals in the world if we just gave people clean water.” The Slingshot won’t be the solution for all of those people, Kamen says, but he sees no reason not to strive for that.

It seems the product has been in development as far back as 2004, but is only now coming to fruition. The thing I like about the project and its implementation is the involvement of Deka Research and Development (Kamen's company) and his partnership with Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola was on board from the very beginning after Kamen gave his pitch back in 2004.

The device is known as the Slingshot after the mythical slingshot, which with David slew Goliath. He is literally trying to rid the world of people getting sick and dying from drinking water. If you are reading this, chances are your water is safe. Imagine being able to hook one of these Slingshots up to a hose and getting clean water from contaminated water filled with all kinds of waterborne impurities!

Here is a Slingshot, which appears at the end of the article:

As always, click on the image to make it larger:

The article explains much better than I can how the Slingshot works.

Like many inventors before him Dean Kamen sees a problem and then finds a solution. I am fascinated with people like that! He is a modern day Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla.

Imagine if we could empty hospitals by one half and save millions of lives every year simply by giving people good, clean water!

I look forward to your comments.




Lynn Jeppeson said...

Ingenious - I never would have thought of using a compressor to keep the system going.

Colleen said...

Interesting information. Mike!! Good blog!

Lynn Jeppeson said...

I watched '10 MPH' The segway trip from Seattle to Boston - quite an adventure.