Why can’t any American know the name of a famous engineer in this country? It seems our news is dominated now by whoever send in the clearest video of something. We are learning the names of every stupid thug who dares to test the patience of a cop and finds himself killed due to sensational videos. On the learn channel we learn nothing but stupid stories like the family who has 20 kids. Do we really need to know about a couple who has sloppy sex all the time? No and No. We need to know more about smart inventors who do good things for our society in general and that is not boring.
Giving us new cheap transportation is not his only gift to the world. He noticed that there are still hundreds of millions of people around the world that do not have access to clean water. 50% of all chronic human disease would go away, we would empty 50% of the hospital beds in the world if you just gave people clean water. When Dean Kamen sees a problem, he and his team based in New Hampshire work to solve it. So, he invented a thing called the Slingshot, a portable water purifier. Any kind of water, water with pathogens, organics, in-organics, chrome, arsenic, feces anything can be purified in his machine. Why doesn’t the world know about his discovery? Why isn’t this kind of good news being blasted on the nightly news and all informational feeds?
There is a documentary out there called Slingshot that shows that Kamen has successfully set a small number of these devices in villages in Africa and Latin America. Instead of seeing small undernourished black children naked sitting in their own shit in the mud with flies going in and out of their mouths. You see children wearing clean clothes happily and freely walking up to faucets with clean cups drinking as much safe clean water as the want all day long. Yes, a feature that most of us have and take for granted in our lives. I think Mr. Kamen should be worshiped like a God here on earth just for this invention of his. Instead most people think he is dead or doesn’t even know who the hell he is.
The good water is created by using just a small amount of electricity. The Slingshot can also run on batteries or solar power or even methane from animal dung. Every camper should own one of these machines. The drawback is that each machine costs $100,000 a piece so it is too expensive for mostly anyone to have. So instead of waiting for Congress to get off their asses to create a bond or program to be able to mass produce the machines and lowering the cost, he has talked to Coca-Cola and DEKA looking for partners. Coca-Cola has the capacity to put vending machines just about anywhere however, they probably would rather sell their sugary unhealthy cola product. As usual most commerce could care less about health but capitalize on wealth.
Dean Kamen holds more than 400 patented inventions and nobody knows his name. He realizes he has to make money. We all know that money gives you freedom, flexibility and the resources to do things. Royalties from his many inventions allows him to employ 500 engineers and technicians in his company called DEKA Research. At 63 years old he still has the ambition to try to create more. He is from Long Island, New York and at one time struggled at school due to Dyslexia. He loves to read old math and physics books. He was still in college when he designed the first wearable insulin pump for Diabetics and later the first Dialysis Machine.
In 1990 he began work on a wheelchair to put the disabled on a very able level. He calls it the I-Bot Robotic Chair. It puts you eye level with other people so no one is looking down at you. It is all about dignity. It took 15 years and more than $50 million dollars to mimic how we balance and manage to stay upright. It can easily negotiate curves and even climb stairs. Why doesn’t every torso of a Veteran have one of these chairs? Congress will always give more weapons money out but rarely appropriate funds for our ever giving volunteer soldiers.
Veterans are still being offered a hook to replace a lost hand. Are we still pirates on ships being called Captain Hook? Nope, this Saint Dean Kaman has developed a new arm for soldiers that looks like a hand, the wrist can rotate, the wrist can flex. It is called the Luke Arm named after Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movie from 1980, The Empire Strikes Back where he tests out his new arm. We all know that we can’t replace the magnificent limbs we are born with but he can eat with chopsticks, pick up a egg and not crack it, with his arm. The Veterans deserve this arm at whatever cost.
He is also in search of the next generation of scientists. We needs kids who want to be scientists and not be afraid of science. He started an organization called Firsts that formed 25 years ago to attract kids to science by offering them the opportunity to compete robots of their own design. The competition makes science cool. The average kid can tell you the name of sports players but no names of scientists. To date more than a million kids have competed in Firsts Competitions from more than 80 countries. Let’s give exposure to these countries uniting in peace every night on the news instead to making criminals and thugs famous. Use our heads for good instead of chopping our heads off with knives.
The saddest part of this story is that Dean Kaman never marries or had children of his own. He sees the budding scientists in his competitions as his legacy. He is proud to pass on to them not only his passion of technology but his focus to give more than he takes in life. If it was up to me I would have him rub one out every day and serve his seed to impregnate all smart women who froze their eggs getting their education. We need more smart giving good people in this world and put all their descendants on The Learning Channel as a decent reality show. Sigh!