Dean Kamen

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Dean Kamen : biography

05 April 1951 –

Dean L. Kamen (born April 5, 1951) is an American entrepreneur and inventor from New Hampshire.

Born on Long Island, New York, he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute, but dropped out before graduating after five years of private advanced research for drug infusion pump AutoSyringe. He is the son of Jack Kamen, an illustrator for Mad, Weird Science and other EC Comics publications.

Personal life

His residence is a hexagonal, shed style mansion he dubbed Westwind, 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 at least one secret passage, an observation tower, 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 is working to convert into a Stirling engine-powered kinetic sculpture. Kamen owns two helicopters, which he regularly uses to commute to work, and had a hangar built into the house as well.Iconoclasts (TV show), Season 2, Show #10. Isabella Rossellini and Dean Kamen November 16, 2006

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).

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.

Kamen owns and pilots two Raytheon 390 Beechcraft Premier I jets.

Kamen is also a member of the USA Science and Engineering Festival’s Advisory Board. retrieved 2010-07-05

Dean of Invention, a TV show on Planet Green starring Kamen and correspondent Joanne Colan, in which they investigate new technologies, premiered on October 22, 2010.


President [[Bill Clinton and Kamen in the White House, Kamen riding the iBOT Mobility System]]


Kamen is best known for inventing the product that eventually became known as the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter with a sophisticated, computer-controlled gyroscopic stabilization and control system. The device is balanced 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 Stirling Generator 10 coupled to Water Still 12 (from US patent 7,340,879) Kamen has worked extensively on a project involving Stirling engine designs, attempting to create two machines; one that would generate power, and the Slingshot that would serve as a water purification system.. Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides. Wired. March 25, 2008 He hopes the project will help improve living standards in developing countries. Kamen has a patent issued on his water purifier, , and other patents pending. Kamen claims that his company DEKA is now working on solar power inventions.

Kamen is also the co-inventor of a compressed-air-powered device that 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.

Kamen was already a successful and wealthy inventor, after inventing the first drug infusion pump and starting a company, AutoSyringe, to market and manufacture the pump. His company DEKA also holds patents for the technology used in portable dialysis machines, an insulin pump (based on the drug infusion pump technology), 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.