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Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, has invented a water purification system called the Slingshot, which he claims can purify 97 percent of the Earth's undrinkable water. Mr. Kamen is pictured here drinking a glass of Slingshot-produced water.  (Source: CNN)

The device operates at low power and requires little maintenance. Mr. Kamen is aiming to sell the devices for $2,000 to aid organizations.  (Source: CNN)
Thirsty? Just grab a Slingshot, says Dean Kamen

Obtaining clean drinking water remains a very serious problem for people in many parts of the world.  Scientists have been hard at work trying to invent solutions to make water purification cheaper and incorporate renewable energy sources for power in remote regions.  Now, one famous inventor has cooked what he claims to be the most revolutionary water purification system to date.

Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway, the Luke robotic arm, and founder of the F.I.R.S.T. robotics competition warns, "In your lifetime, my lifetime, we will see water be a really scarce, valuable commodity."

Looking to solve this problem, Mr. Kamen and his associates at DEKA Research in Manchester, New Hampshire have invented a new type of water purifier called the Slingshot, which he claims can purify 97 percent of the world's undrinkable water.

The device took him over 10 years to develop and can transform even sewage into clean drinking water.  The crux of the invention is the "vapor compression distiller" which sits between the tank of dirty liquid and the tank of clean drinking water.  This device operates at low power and boils, distills, and vaporizes liquid water from the dirty mix, leaving behind impurities in the water.  The device requires little maintenance.

The device produces 250 gallons a day, enough to support 100 people.  Mr. Kamen boasts, "It is literally like turning lead into gold.  But I believe it's more important, because you can't drink lead or gold."

The device has already been field tested in the village of Lerida in Honduras in 2006.  Two of the devices were placed in the village, and everything went perfectly, without a hitch. 

Next up, Mr. Kamen envisions mass deployment.  Currently, a Slingshot costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.  However, Mr. Kamen is looking for partners to mass produce the device.  He hopes to reduce the cost to about $2,000 a unit, and to enlist humanitarian groups to start buying the devices for regions in need.  He states, "The biggest challenge right now between this being a dream and a reality is getting committed people that really care about the state of the world's health to get involved."

Currently about 900 million of the world's 7 billion people don't have access to clean drinking water.  This leads to over 3.5 million deaths a year from water-related diseases.

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RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By Misty Dingos on 9/14/2009 12:18:53 PM , Rating: 4
Africa is a wonderful place. But Africa is not a country but even bigger it is a CONTINENT!

Continents are big places that have (sometimes) many countries in them.

But back to this strife issue and war-torn comment. It is people that are the problem. Just get rid of all these people and the planet would be much better and happier.

A select number of people should move to the moon and live there. We have proven to be horrible stewards of the Gaia and don't deserve to live here.

So we should exile ourselves to the moon and let Gaia heal herself away from our horrific influence!

There is your happy thought for the day.

Did it have anything to do with the subject at hand? No.
Did it add anything to the discussion? No. But neither do most of the comments here at DT.

Now I am going to go check this contraption out. If it can remove arsenic from the water and doesn't require a PHD to operate maybe it will help a lot of people out. Unlike my post today.

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By rrburton on 9/14/2009 12:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By quiksilvr on 9/14/2009 8:21:10 PM , Rating: 1
Wow. This is the first organization that makes me GLAD the members aren't breeding.

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By messyunkempt on 9/14/2009 1:52:05 PM , Rating: 5
Is it just me that assosciates the word 'gaia' with 'people that dont wash?'

By The Irish Patient on 9/14/2009 8:16:12 PM , Rating: 3
Wash, maybe. But shave? Never.

By jimbojimbo on 9/14/2009 2:14:32 PM , Rating: 2
He was being sarcastic and making fun of the previous post. You see "Country" and "Africay" right?

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By SPOOFE on 9/14/2009 6:35:17 PM , Rating: 4
So we should exile ourselves to the moon and let Gaia heal herself away from our horrific influence!

How do you know we didn't exile ourselves here away from the Moon? Look what happened to the Moon since we've left. What an awful place it turned into.

No, I think Gaia is just fine with us making our tiny pinpricks and splashing our little chemicals and detonating our itty-bitty widdle firecrackers on her crust. The rest of her will remain happy and content ten miles beneath the surface.

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By danrien on 9/14/2009 9:30:17 PM , Rating: 1
aye. besides, if it's not us abusing earth's resources, it's going to be some other creature (evolution doesn't allow for things to just "balance out").

By AstroGuardian on 9/16/2009 3:48:21 AM , Rating: 1
I like your thoughts. But bear in mind this;
1. People are not the problem with wars. It's roles. You can move people even to Venus if you like but someone else will get their role here. A role like trouble making countries which took away something from friendly countries etc. and now they are at war to guard what have stolen. So entire countries should disappear and the world will be a better place.

2. Don't you think Gaia is on the Moon too?

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