- Dean L. Kamen
Dean L. Kamen (born
April 5, 1951) is an American entrepreneurand inventorfrom 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.
In 1989, Kamen founded
FIRST(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), 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. Kamen remains the driving force behind the organization, providing over 1,000 high schools with the tools needed to learn valuable engineering skills. FIRST has gained a great deal of publicity from companies such as Autodesk, Bausch and Lomb, CNN, General Motors, Google, Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Boston Gears, Motorola, Delphi, Kodak, Johnson and Johnson, Xerox, Harris, Underwriter's Laboratories, Microchip, Caterpillar as well as many Universities and colleges. FIRSThas 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.
During his career Kamen has won numerous awards. He was elected to the
National Academy of Engineeringin 1997 for his biomedical devices and for making engineering more popular among high school students. Dean Kamen was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 2000 by then President Clinton for inventions that have advanced medical care worldwide. In April 2002, Kamen was awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prizefor inventors, for his invention of the Segway and of an infusion pump for diabetics. In 2003 his "Project Slingshot," a cheap portable water purificationsystem, was named a runner-up for "coolest invention of 2003" by Time magazine. [ [http://www.gartner.com/research/fellows/asset_55323_1176.jsp The Gartner Fellows: Dean Kamen Interview, 30 Oct 2003] ] . In 2005 he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Famefor his invention of the AutoSyringe. In 2006 Kamen was awarded the Global Humanitarian Action Awardby the United Nations. Kamen received an honorary "Doctor of Engineering " degree from Kettering Universityin 2001, as well as from the Wentworth Institute of Technologywhen he spoke at the college's centennial celebration in 2004, and other honorary doctorates from Bates College in 2007  , the Georgia Institute of Technologyin 2008, the Illinois Institute of Technologyin 2008 and Plymouth State Universityin May of 2008.
Kamen is currently single, claiming he's "married to his inventions." His longest relationship was with a woman by the name of K.C. Conners. His primary residence is a
hexagonal shed stylemansion he has dubbed WestwindKirsner, Scott. [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.09/kamen_pr.html "Breakout Artist"] , " Wired magazine", 8.09, Sept 2000.] , 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, spiral staircases and secret passages, an observation tower, a fully-equipped machine shop, and a huge cast-iron steam engine which once belonged to Henry Fordbuilt 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.
During 2007 at the
FIRSTRobotics competition held in Atlanta, Georgia, YouTube(which sponsors FIRST) co-founder Chad Hurleyannounced 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 is a visit and guided tour of Dean Kamen's house and property. The competition is currently on-going and still taking submissions.
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 DARPAto work on a brain-controlled prosthetic limb called the Luke Arm [ [http://www.medgadget.com/archives/2008/06/new_luke_arm_video.html New Luke Arm Video - Medgadget - www.medgadget.com ] ] .
Dean Kamen owns and pilots a
Beechcraft Premier Ijet.
North Dumpling Island
* [http://www.dekaresearch.com/ DEKA website]
* [http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.09/kamen.html?pg=1&topic=&topic_set= Bio of Dean Kamen] – from "
* [http://www.radiophiles.org Listen to the Dean Kamen interview on Radiophiles.org]
* [http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/9 Speech by Dean Kamen in
* [http://www.usfirst.org/ FIRST's official website]
** [http://www.usfirst.org/who/content.aspx?id=48 Kamen's biography at FIRST]
* [http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/16/technology/business2_futureboy0216/index.htm "Segway creator unveils his next act"] - Dean Kamen aligning with
Iqbal Quadir, the founder of Grameen Phoneto bring remote villages electricity and cell phones
* [http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/222.html Inventor Profile] at [http://www.invent.org National Inventors Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.patentstorm.us/inventors/Dean_L__Kamen-701867.html/ Dean Kamen's US patents]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UvWGjzFOuI Speech by Dean Kamen at
Bates CollegeCommencement 2007]
* [http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/82 Speech by Dean Kamen] at TED about a new prosthetic arm for amputees
* [http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid452319854?bctid=1576332530 D:All Things Digital, May, 2008, video] of Kamen on the topic of robotic prosthetics
* [http://www.teletrol.com Teletrol Systems] - Official website for
TeletrolSystems, a Dean Kamen company that manufactures building automation technologies.
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