Dean Kamen preserves the past and envisions a bright future
Friday, December 1, 2006
Kamen is currently at work on a water treatment system that was successfully tested just a couple months ago in a village in Honduras, he said.
The portable device turns contaminated water into clean water by distilling it, using a fraction of the energy required by traditional distillation systems. Kamen predicts such systems could help solve health problems caused by waterborne pathogens all over the world.
Another of his inventions was recently used to supply electricity to two small villages in Bangladesh, he said. These generators used methane gas from cow dung to provide power to homes that had never had electricity before.
“We?re trying to build products for people who have no clean water and no power,” he said.
The challenge has been finding people to invest in more than prototypes. As Kamen wryly notes, people who have no clean water or power typically have no money and that can make it difficult to develop a business plan.
But Kamen says he?s not one to give up. Everything he?s ever done has taken longer than he expected, he said.
“People will never change as quickly as the technology will allow them to,” he said.
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