Dean Kamen Biography

(Inventor of Segway and iBOT)

Birthday: April 5, 1951 (Aries)

Born In: Rockville Centre, New York, United States

Dean Lawrence Kamen is an inventor, engineer, business person, and public speaker from America. He has garnered fame for inventing the Segway. He, along with Woodie Flowers, established the non-profit organization For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology or FIRST. A native of New York, Kamen started earning money for his inventions when he was a teenager. He attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) but left before obtaining a degree. He subsequently set up AutoSyringe, a company that makes medicine pumps. In 2001, he introduced what would become his best-known invention to date, The Segway PT, a two-wheeled, self-balancing, electric-powered personal transporting device. He has also created iBOT, an all-terrain, electric-powered wheelchair, and co-invented a compressed air device that can shoot a human into the air. Kamen set up his company, DEKA Research & Development Corporation, in 1982. In 2009, they announced that they would be investing in solar energy. Kamen has also done extensive work on Stirling engine designs. Throughout his career, he has received several accolades. In 2005, he became an inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his invention of the AutoSyringe.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Dean Lawrence Kamen

Age: 73 Years, 73 Year Old Males


father: Jack

mother: Evelyn Kamen

siblings: Barton, Mitch, Terri

Born Country: United States

Inventors Engineers

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

Notable Alumni: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

awards: 2000 - National Medal of Technology and Innovation
2002 - Lemelson–MIT Prize
2007 - ASME Medal

1995 - Hoover Medal
2008 - Washington Award
2011 - Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering

Childhood & Early Life
Born on April 5, 1951, in Rockville Centre, New York, USA, Dean Kamen is the son of Jack and Evelyn Kamen. His father was a renowned illustrator who worked for ‘Mad,’ ‘Weird Science’ and other EC Comics publications. His mother worked as a teacher.
Dean had two brothers, Mitch and Barton, and a sister, Terri. Barton Kamen, who was a clinical professor of paediatrics and pharmacology, passed away on 27 September 2012 at the age of 63.
According to Kamen, he was five years old when he developed an innovative method of making his bed that did not require him to go from one side to the other. He was an average student and often had issues with his teachers, who thought that he was a slow learner. Kamen was subsequently educated by his mother.
After obtaining a high-school degree, Kamen enrolled at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts. He had already started selling his inventions when he was a teenager. This continued when he was in college, and creating new gadgets became more important to him than attending classes.
During this period, he developed AutoSyringe, which is a portable medicine pump that can be worn by the patients. In 1976, he dropped out of WPI and founded AutoSyringe, a company that supplies the product.
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In 1982, Dean Kamen set up DEKA, a technology company that is headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, and currently boasts of about 400 engineers, technicians, and support staff. The company’s name is an acronym made up of DEan KAmen.
DEKA has the patents for the technology utilized in products like HomeChoice, a portable dialysis machine, and iBOT, an all-terrain, electric-powered wheelchair. The former is licensed to Baxter Healthcare, while Johnson & Johnson has the latter’s license.
Kamen is involved in a project in which Stirling engine designs have been heavily utilized. They were trying to build two machines. The first would produce electricity. The second, Slingshot, would be a system that purifies water. He believes that the project will improve the lives of common people in developing countries. Kamen has received one among the several patents for which he has filed on the purifier.
He developed a compressed air device with several other people. As it can shoot a human into the air, SWAT teams or other emergency services can use it to get their personnel to the roofs of tall, inaccessible buildings.
In 2009, Kamen revealed that DEKA was going to develop solar-powered machines. They have also created the prosthetic arm Luke, which is a DARPA project.
In 1989, Kamen and Woodie Flowers established FIRST, an international youth organization that works closely with students of STEM subjects. The organization runs the FIRST Robotics Competition, FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Lego League Jr., FIRST LEGO League Jr. Discovery Edition, and FIRST Tech Challenge competitions and is comprised of over 4,00,000 students, more than 90,000 mentors, and over 90,000 event volunteers.
Major Works
Dean Kamen developed the Segway PT (known at the time as Segway HT) sometime in the early 1990s. He received the first patent for the product, which was filed in 1994, in 1997.
In 1999, Segway Inc. was set up. In 2001, Segway PT was introduced in the market. The Segway is a device operated by shifting body weight. HT stands for “human transporter” whereas PT stands for “personal transporter”.
Kamen has received honorary degrees from institutions like Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Kettering University, Clarkson University, and the University of Arizona.
On November 6, 2009, he became the recipient of the Stevens Honor Award.
Family & Personal Life
Dean Kamen resides in Manchester, New Hampshire. A licensed pilot, he is the owner of an Embraer Phenom 300 light jet aircraft and three Enstrom helicopters, including a 280FX, a 480, and a 480B. He has set up a hanger in his house and uses the helicopters for commuting.
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