Click for the TGIF home page.
Your host Phil Ament Click to visit One Small Step Feature
Fascinating facts about Dean Kamen inventor
Iof the Segway Transporation System in 2001.
Dean Kamen
Inventor: Dean L. Kamen
Dean Kamen, DEKA Research & Development Corporation
Criteria: First to invent. First to patent. First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: April 5, 1951 in Rockville Centre, New York
Nationality: American
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 Youth".


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 (June, 2003)
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.


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 corporate clients.
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 driving force.
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.
Dean Kamen
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.
National 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.


  • 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 technology.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised October 11, 2006.

 Tim Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing before.
Learn more


The invention of the Internet, should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
Learn more

  The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend getaway.
Learn more...  
This book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the technologically advanced reader alike.
Learn more
Click to visit FIRST
Click to visit Technology Catagories


Disclaimer   Author    inventors   inventions   timeline  category  games    a-navbarend.gif (873 bytes)
home  | idea history  |  idea showcase  |  special features  | resource center  | guest services  history articles  |  search   a-navbarend.gif (873 bytes)
Copyright © 1997 - 2007  The Great Idea Finder  All rights reserved.