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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 rippleyaliens on 9/14/2009 1:05:53 PM , Rating: 2
WOW, The roar of the wannabe internet tough guys with a keyboard..
How about the fact that
1. Disaster Areas, KATRINA could have used this. But what about other disaster areas. Asia, AMERICA, South America.. in which getting clean water is very hard.. MEXICO COMES TO MIND.
2. The Cost 2,000 and does >100 gallons a day= ROI in 30 days.
3. Some IDGET said Well water.. WEll NOT EVERY 3rd world village has a well.. PLENTY of streams/Rain water, etc.. BUT IT IS NOT CLEAN..

Not every single person on this planet can live in perfect harmony.. CHINA and INDIA..=2.5BILLION PEOPLE.. India alone has a 80+ % poverty rate.. Can you imagine 800-900 MILLION people who are just now getting power/water and Decent housing. Because the country you live in, has all the stuff we take for granted.. Not everyone in the country you live in has it like you have it.

PS i did my 4 for the corps... Went litteraly all over the world. From asia-africa.. Lets get this water flowing, for that is something i would not want to see.. WAR OVER WATER!!!! Gold/money/terror/power is one thing, but Water..uggggggggg

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By nvalhalla on 9/14/2009 1:49:43 PM , Rating: 3
I was commenting on HIM buying a well, not that it's an option for EVERYONE. I just assumed, maybe that was a mistake, that he isn't in Katrina ravaged New Orleans or in a war torn African country. He wanted to save some money on water in his small U.S. suburb, I thought a well might be a better option. Obviously that isn't something everyone in the Sub-Saharan can do, but he said he gets rain, enough to apparently live on.

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