miércoles, diciembre 02, 2009

Dean L. Kamen * USA * Inventor

Dean L. Kamen
(born 5 April 1951) is an American entrepreneur and inventor from New Hampshire.
Born in
Rockville Centre, New York, he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out before graduating. His father was Jack Kamen, an illustrator of Mad Magazine, Weird Science and other EC Comics.

Inventions * Segway
Kamen is best known for inventing the product that eventually became known as 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 moving body weight. The machine's development was the object of much speculation and hype after segments of a book quoting Steve Jobs and other notable IT visionaries espousing its society-revolutionizing potential were leaked in December 2001.

Kamen has worked extensively on a project involving Stirling engine designs, attempting to create two machines; one that would generate power and one that would serve as a water purification system. He hopes the project will help improve living standards in developing countries.[1][2] Kamen has a patent issued on his water purifier, U.S. Patent 7,340,879, and other patents pending. Kamen claims that his company DEKA is now working on solar power inventions.[2]
Kamen is also the co-inventor of a compressed-air-powered device which would launch a human into the air in order to quickly launch SWAT teams or other emergency workers to the roofs of tall, inaccessible buildings.[3]
However, Kamen was already a successful and wealthy inventor, after inventing the AutoSyringe, a new type of mobile dialysis system for medical applications, the first insulin pump, and an all-terrain electric wheelchair known as the iBOT, using many of the same gyroscopic balancing technologies that later made their way into the Segway.
[edit] FIRST
In 1989, Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a robotics competition for high school students. In 2005, it held over 30 regional competitions and one international competition. In 2007, 37 competitions were held in places across the world such as Israel, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. In 2009, the First Open Arab Robotics Competition was held at Dead Sea, Jordan. Kamen remains the driving force behind the organization, providing over 2,500 high schools with the tools needed to learn valuable engineering skills.[citation needed] FIRST has gained a great deal of publicity from companies such as Autodesk, BAE Systems, Bausch and Lomb, CNN, General Motors, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Boston Gears, Motorola, Delphi, Kodak, Johnson and Johnson, Xerox, Harris, Underwriter's Laboratories, Microchip, and Caterpillar as well as many Universities and colleges.
FIRST has many competitions, including the JFLL (Junior FIRST Lego League) and the FLL (FIRST Lego League) for younger students, and the FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) and the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) for high school aged students.[citation needed]
[edit] Awards
During his career Kamen has won numerous awards. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 for his biomedical devices and for making engineering more popular among high school students. In 1999 he was awarded the 5th Annual Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment[4], and in 2000 received the National Medal of Technology from then President Clinton for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide. In April 2002, Kamen was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize for inventors, for his invention of the Segway and of an infusion pump for diabetics. In 2003 his "Project Slingshot," a cheap portable water purification system, was named a runner-up for "coolest invention of 2003" by Time magazine.[5] In 2005 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the AutoSyringe. In 2006 Kamen was awarded the Global Humanitarian Action Award by the United Nations. Kamen received an honorary "Doctor of Engineering " degree from Kettering University in 2001, an honorary "Doctor of Science" degree from the University of Arizona on May 16, 2009, and an honorary doctorate from the Wentworth Institute of Technology when he spoke at the college's centennial celebration in 2004, and other honorary doctorates from Bates College in 2007 [1], the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2008, the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2008 and Plymouth State University in May 2008. Kamen, "One of the world's most prominent and prolific inventors", received the prestigious Stevens Honor Award on Nov. 6, 2009, given by the Stevens Institute of Technology and the Stevens Alumni Association.
[edit] Personal life
His primary residence is a hexagonal, shed style mansion he has dubbed Westwind,[1] located in Bedford, New Hampshire, just outside of the larger city of Manchester. The house has at least four different levels and is very eclectically conceived, with such things as hallways resembling mine shafts, 1960s novelty furniture, a collection of vintage wheelchairs, spiral staircases and secret passages, an observation tower, a torture chamber, a fully equipped machine shop, and a huge cast-iron steam engine which once belonged to Henry Ford built into the center atrium of the house (which is actually small in comparison), which Kamen has had converted into a Stirling engine-powered kinetic sculpture.
Also on the property there is a softball field regularly used by the local police force. Kamen owns two helicopters, which he regularly uses to commute to work, and has a hangar built into the house as well.[6][7][8][9]
He is the main subject of Code Name Ginger: the Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to Invent a New World, a nonfiction narrative book by journalist Steve Kemper published by Harvard Business School Press in 2003 (in paperback as Reinventing the Wheel). During 2007 at the FIRST Robotics competition held in Atlanta, Georgia, YouTube (which sponsors FIRST) co-founder Chad Hurley announced a competition for the teams to create a video in which they would describe what it takes to start a FIRST robotics team in an imaginative way. The prize for the winning team was a visit and guided tour of Dean Kamen's house and property.
His company, DEKA, annually creates intricate mechanical presents for him. Recently, the company created a robotic chess player, which is a mechanical arm attached to a chess board, as well as a vintage-looking computer with antique wood, and a converted typewriter as a keyboard. In addition, DEKA has recently received funding from DARPA to work on a brain-controlled prosthetic limb called the Luke Arm.[10]
Dean Kamen owns and pilots two Raytheon 390 Beechcraft Premier I jets.[7][11][12]

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