|Dean Kamen, born
1951, is an
inventor, an entrepreneur and a tireless advocate for science and
technology. His roles as inventor and advocate are intertwined -- his
own passion for technology and its practical uses has driven his
personal determination to spread the word about technology's virtues and
by so doing to change the culture of the United States.
Dean's vast knowledge of the physical sciences, combined with his
ability to integrate the fundamental laws of physics with the most
modern technologies, has led to the development of breakthrough
processes and products.
As an inventor, Dean holds more than 440 U.S. and
foreign patents, many of them for innovative medical devices that have
expanded the frontiers of health care worldwide. While still a college
undergraduate, he invented the first wearable infusion pump, which
rapidly gained acceptance from such diverse medical specialties as
chemotherapy, neonatology and endocrinology. In 1976 he founded his
first medical device company, AutoSyringe, Inc., to manufacture and
market the pumps. At age 30, he sold that company to Baxter
International Corporation. By then, he had added a number of other
infusion devices, including the first insulin pump for diabetics.
Following the sale of AutoSyringe, Inc., he founded DEKA Research &
Development Corporation to develop internally generated inventions as
well as to provide R&D for major corporate clients. Dean's more recent
inventions include: the HomeChoice™ dialysis machine, developed for
Baxter (Design News' 1993 Medical Product of the Year), the Crown Stent
designed for Johnson & Johnson, and the latest invention, the
Independence™ 3000 IBOT™ Transporter, also developed for Johnson &
Johnson. The IBOT, a personal transporter that was developed for the
disabled community was unveiled in 1999. It can climb stairs, traverse
sandy and rocky terrain and raise its user to eye-level with a standing
person. All three of these products represent extraordinarily innovative
responses to extraordinarily daunting challenges.
In 1989, Dean founded FIRST (For Inspiration
and Recognition of Science and Technology), and ever since has remained
its driving force, its guiding spirit, and, in the eyes of thousands of
students across the country, its personal embodiment. FIRST uses
wholesale marketing and media techniques to motivate the next generation
to want to learn about science and technology. Dean has personally
recruited scores of the top leaders of American industry, education and
government in this crusade. As a result, the national championship of
the FIRST Robotics Competition, which teams professional engineers with
high school students from across the country, has set a new record each
of the last four years as the largest non-Disney event ever held at Walt
Disney World's Epcot Center. The 2000 event attracted almost 400 teams
and has impacted tens of thousands of students — many of them women or
minorities from large urban schools.
With the success of the FIRST Robotics
Competition, FIRST introduced the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) in 1999 as a
means of expanding FIRST's reach to expose younger children to the
science and technology fields. As a result of a partnership between
FIRST and the LEGO Company, FLL offers hands-on experience for 9-14
year-old kids to explore and invent their own robotic creations. FLL has
experienced tremendous growth, reaching more than 25,000 children in the
U.S. since its inception.
In addition to his own attempts to master science
and technology, Dean has received significant public recognition for his
crusade on behalf of science and engineering. He was, for example,
labeled by Smithsonian Magazine "the Pied Piper of Technology" and
profiled by the New York Times as "A New Kind of Hero for American
TO LEARN MORE
The Entrepreneur from The Great Idea Finder
The Philanthropist from
The Great Idea Finder
Invention of the Segway Human Transporter
from The Great Idea Finder
Transportation History from The Great Idea Finder
Code Name Ginger: The Story Behind Segway and Dean Kamen's Quest to
Invent a New World
by Steve Kempe / Hardcover: 336 pages / Harvard Business School Press
This is the unforgettable story of "Ginger," officially named the Segway
Human Transporter: a self-balancing, electric-powered people mover that
Kamen called "magic sneakers." With the pacing and excitement of a
suspense novel, Code Name Ginger documents the birth of a marvelous new
technology and the feats of its remarkable inventor, his team of
engineers, and the financiers who pursued them.
ON THE WEB:
DEKA Research and Development Corporation
Founded by Dean Kamen, DEKA Research & Development Corporation to develop
internally generated inventions as well as to provide R&D for major
FIRST (For Inspiration
and Recognition of Science and Technology)
A decade ago Dean founded FIRST (For Inspiration and
Recognition of Science and Technology), and ever since has remained its
Official Segway Web site
The official Segway Human Transporter (also known as "Ginger"
or "IT") web site.
The Great Inventor
Lots of people talk and dream about changing the world. But inventor
Dean Kamen is actually doing it. CBS 60 Minute Article.
The multimillionaire inventrepreneur, is going global with a robochair
that climbs stairs, a miracle motor that fights disease, and his wildest
notion of all - that scientists will be the 21st century's superstars.
Wired article by Scott Kirsner.
Inventors Hall of Fame
The National Inventors Hall of Fame™ honors
the women and men responsible for the great technological advances that make
human, social and economic progress possible..
DID YOU KNOW?:
- In 1994 Dean received the Kilby Award,
which celebrates those who make extraordinary contributions to society
through science, technology, innovation, invention and education.
- The Heinz Award was awarded to Dean in
1998 in Technology, the Economy and Employment for a set of inventions
that have advanced medical care worldwide.
- Dean was awarded the National Medal of
Technology by President Clinton in 2000 for inventions that have
advanced medical care worldwide, and for innovative and imaginative
leadership in awakening America to the excitement of science and