TED Talk By Dean Kamen on Inventions to Help the Disabled

Innovator Dean Kamen

Have a heart [Photo by Sam Felder] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Innovator Dean Kamen is one of many American successful entrepreneurs and inventor who is best known for inventing the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter with a complex, computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilization and control system. The device balances on two parallel wheels and is controlled by shifting the body weight.

Kamen has also worked extensively on a project involving Stirling engine designs, in the attempt to create two different machines. One would generate power, and another called the Slingshot which would serve as a water purification system. Kamen hopes that this project can help to improve living standards in developing countries.

He has patented the water purifier, and now claims that his company DEKA is working on solar power inventions. Kamen is also the co-inventor of a device that is powered by compressed air that can launch a person into the air. It’s intended to quickly launch SWAT teams or other emergency workers to the roofs of tall buildings.

TED Talk By Dean Kamen on Inventions to Help the Disabled

Dean Kamen gave a TED Talk on how he’s creating inventions that can help disabled people, like soldiers who’ve lost limbs during service, to live a better life.

Esquí adaptado [Photo by pablofausto] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Kamen says that he was visited a few years ago by the head of DARPA, which funds all the advanced technologies that businesses and universities won’t risk pursuing, who asked for his help in creating better prosthetic devices for injured soldiers. They asked him to design something with fine response sensors and motor control.

They also requested that it could be used by both genders and be completely self-contained including all its power. At first Kamen thought that the request was beyond his capability, but after thinking about it more he decided he had to find a way to do it. He got a team of to be successful entrepreneurs together of the best engineers he could find, and at the end of one year they had a very advanced and functional device assembled.