Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess
I remember when the Segway was introduced. It was supposed to revolutionize commuting by getting people out of their cars.
Segways are used in a variety of settings, but not in what you would call general use, which isn’t surprising considering new ones cost anywhere from $6,000 to as high as $13,000.
But Dean Kamen, Segway’s inventor, is about a lot more than pricey personal transport.
His latest idea, that just got FDA approval, is another gold star on his “good for humanity” list.
The DEKA limb can provide “near natural upper-arm extremity control” to amputees and the device is modular so that it can be fitted to people who’ve suffered any degree of limb loss, from an entire arm to a hand, Sanchez said. Six “grip patterns” allow wearers to drink a cup of water, hold a cordless drill or pick up a credit card or a grape, among other functions.
The prosthetic looks amazing and could be an enormous boon to soldiers who lost limbs in the wars with Iraq and Afghanistan and thousands of other amputees.
DEKA is looking for a manufacturer.
Kamen is an impressive guy, more inventor than entrepreneur.
“Most people, once they get good at something, they make iterations and make a career out of that. (Think Bezos, Ellison, Gates, Jobs) We’re good at trying to try some crazy idea that probably won’t work.”
But look at the ones that do.
- the first portable drug delivery device for providing drugs that previously required round-the-clock hospital care.
- a portable dialysis machine
- an insulin pump for diabetics
- a vascular stent
- the iBOT — a motorized wheelchair that climbs stairs
- a prosthetic arm for maimed soldiers
- and a portable energy and water purification device, called Slingshot (amazing story) for the developing world.
It’s unlikely that Kamen will ever join the billionaires club, but he will die richer than any of them.
And guess who will be remembered the longest?
He is proof that one (stubborn) person can truly make a difference and change millions of lives.
Flickr image credit: jason gessner