miércoles, diciembre 02, 2009

Dean Kamen * Island

The idea of a brilliant visionary secluding himself on a private island is an old one, from Doctor Moreau’s tropical isle of genetic mishaps, to the secret lair of James Bond’s arch nemesis Dr. No.

But few would argue that inventor Dean Kamen qualifies as an evil super villain. Holder of more than 150 patents including the Segway, Kamen is a pioneer not only in the field of eco-friendly transportation, but is also the engineer of invaluable medical and robotic devices like prosthetic limbs and mobility chairs. And when he wants relative peace and quiet, he retires to North Dumpling Island, a 2-acre speck in Connecticut’s Long Island Sound.

Bought for a reported $2.5M in 1986, the island has a sprawling remodelled lighthouse for a home and boasts a small replica of Stonehenge. Living up to the “eccentric inventor” stereotype, denial of a permit for a wind-electricity turbine led him to (jokingly) secede as his own little country- complete with a newspaper, constitution and currency- not to mention an extensive cabinet of Kamen’s friends (including the Minister of Nepotism). But Americans can breath a sigh of relief, because the inventor’s island nation won’t pose much of a threat- “Lord Dumpling” willingly signed a non-aggression pact with his buddy, former president George H. W. Bush.

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]

Dean Kamen


Cuando pensamos en un inventor, seguramente vienen a nuestra mente imágenes de [muy] extraños hombres en oscuros sótanos o misteriosos laboratorios, generalmente fabricando extraños aparatos de de dudosa utilidad práctica.

Y es que esa dorada época de los grandes (y famosos) inventores como Graham Bell, Edison o Marconi, quienes contribuyeron al progreso de la humanidad al tiempo que lograron hacer negocio, han quedado atrás.

Dean Kamen es seguramente el último representante de esta especie en extinción: Un gran inventor, con un negocio rentable; quien por cierto, no encaja para nada con la descripción del primer párrafo. Conocemos a Kamen seguramente por su más famoso invento: El Segway.

Rompiendo Paradigmas: Una suerte de “transportador personal” (como ha sido definido), que ha venido a revolucionar el paradigma de lo que debe de ser un vehículo de tierra.

Dotado solamente de dos ruedas, el Segway basa su locomoción en un sistema giroscópico que logra mantener el equilibrio y la vertical de su centro de gravedad respecto al eje de estas, mediante el uso de servomotores controlados por computadoras.

Los sensores del Segway lo hacen capaz de moverse hacia adelante o hacia atrás con sólo inclinar el cuerpo en la dirección deseada. Otra característica importante del Segway es el torque de sus motores. De este modo, el vehículo puede transitar tanto en superficies planas como off road, haciéndolo terriblemente versátil.

El Segway se ha popularizado en diversas vertientes como vehículo recreativo, deportivo, de exploración y hasta policiaco. Es aquí donde la mente brillante de Kamen se fusiona con el espíritu emprendedor. Segway es hoy una empresa con un rápido crecimiento, con ventas de miles de unidades a todo el mundo. La venta de estos vehículos se ha convertido sin duda en un negocio muy rentable del cual su inventor ciertamente ha obtenido buenas ganancias. Pero Segway no nació de la nada. Los sistemas que logran mantener el equilibrio y la estabilidad de el aparato fueron inventados por Kamen con un propósito mas noble en mente: fabricar una mejor y más amigable silla de ruedas.

La clave del éxito: Buscar soluciones a problemas: En una ocasión, Kamen observó a una persona tratando de subir una banqueta con su silla de ruedas. Una idea vino de inmediato: El mundo nunca se adaptaría completamente para el acceso de las personas discapacitadas, luego entonces, habría que solucionar ese problema de otra manera. Fue así como surgió iBOT®. Una silla de ruedas motorizada, capaz de mantener el equilibrio en dos ruedas, logrando con esto que el usuario pueda: * Elevar su posición, lo cual le ayuda a tener mejor contacto visual con la gente o ser atendido en un mostrador. * Tener un perfil mas delgado para por ejemplo, abordar un elevador. Otra de las características de iBOT® es combinar un sistema rotacional de las ruedas con el cual el usuario puede subir y bajar banquetas de 15 cm de altura. El sistema de tracción del iBOT® lo hace muy versátil y su locomoción puede variar de dos a seis ruedas. Provisto de un gran torque, iBOT® se ha convertido en la única silla de ruedas rotorizada que puede ser utilizada en campo traviesa. Pero seguramente la característica más impresionante de iBOT® es su capacidad de subir y bajar escaleras. La conjunción de todos sus motores y servomecanismos controlados por computadoras redundantes, hacen que la silla (el vehículo) facilite el acceso hacia arriba y hacia abajo de escaleras con ayuda de un tercero, o con solamente la cooperación del usuario si es que este tiene la capacidad de tirarse de un barandal. iBOT® Mobility System (su nombre completo) es comercializado por Independence Technology, una empresa de Johnson & Johnson en sociedad con DEKA, la empresa de desarrollo tecnológico de Kamen.

Innovación constante en pro de la salud: Dean Kamen a sido un no-declarado apasionado de la biomédica que ha obtenido reconocimientos de la Casa Blanca por sus aportaciones a las Ciencias de La Salud. DEKA ha diseñado una máquina para diálisis peritoneal casera: la HomeChoice™ PD comercializada por Baxter, la bomba de irrigación para endoscopía Hidroflex® comercializada por Davol y ha participado en el desarrollo de stents para Cordis (empresa de Johnson & Johnson). Recientemente, el gobierno de Estados Unidos ha solicitado a Kamen que pensara en una solución para ayudar a los miles de veteranos que vuelven con heridas mutilantes de Ia guerra. En la pasada All Things Digital Conference, organizada por The Wall Street Journal que reúne a grandes personalidades de los negocios digitales y donde se conjugan las Visiones empresariales más avanzadas y ambiciosas, Kamen presentó sus avances con prótesis biomédicas con resultados impresionantes. Un paciente con 13 años amputado de ambos brazos logró tomar unas llaves, pelotas, servirse agua de una botella y alimentarse sólo por primera vez. Puede apreciar estos avanzados brazos biónicos en el siguiente video:

Dean Kamen es si duda un inventor revolucionario. Posee más de 400 patentes y sus investigaciones más recientes se encaminan a la conservación de energía o a la producción de ésta en una máquina que al mismo tiempo purifica agua. Una solución muy útil en los países en desarrollo. Es sin duda, la conjugación del ingenio, el talento, pero sobre todo la Visión; lo que ha hecho que Kamen haya logrado combinar dos talentes: Ser un impresionante inventor y un empresario exitoso. Seguramente que podemos aprender mucho de Kamen. Fuente: fuente: http://blogs.strat-cons.com/?tag=ibot