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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 OrSin on 9/14/2009 2:37:20 PM , Rating: -1
Usually i stay out of this crap, but How did countries like US win there independence. First the natives of this country got slaughter and killed off. So they didn't win anything. Now are you talking about the white men that took this land from them. Sure they got independence. They got it because they was white men. If a bunch of non-white would have rebel, the white in power would have have whole sell slaughter them like they did in 50 other nations. They won their freedom (even that is laughable as a concept)because of restraint whites shows other whites.

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By bodar on 9/14/2009 3:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
"Mr. OrSin, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By Spuke on 9/14/2009 7:23:09 PM , Rating: 2
Usually i stay out of this crap, but How did countries like US win there independence. First the natives of this country got slaughter and killed off.
The natives were not helpless. There were some slaughters, don't get me wrong, but the natives put up a hell of a fight (and did their own slaughtering I might add). The Brits ran the show and the colonists gained their independence from them. Look it up, this is not secret information.

RE: Lets assume its not vaporware
By Parhel on 9/14/2009 11:28:28 PM , Rating: 2
Absolutely. Both sides would roll over in their collective graves if they heard people today calling them 'helpless.'

If it hadn't been for the diseases brought over to the new world by European colonists, however, history may have played out quite differently. The vast majority of the natives of North and South America were killed by Smallpox, not colonists.

In fact, diseases travelled even faster than the colonists did. I believe it was Lewis and Clark who recorded seeing whole cities along the Mississippi, completely emptied by disease.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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