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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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I'm sorry 2 grand?
By MuHak on 9/14/2009 7:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
It hurts me when the wrong ideas get the big names attached to them.

Take a look at this;

This man has produced a water bottle that can filter water using a 15nm filter that can filter up to 6,000 liters or 1,585 gallons of water on one charge.

He's also developed a larger version that can process 25,000 liters of water on one filter, which he approximates is enough for a family of four for three years at $547 a bottle.

My horrible persuasive ability aside, watch the video for yourself and wonder what Dean Kamen is up to.

Although I respect Dean Kamen's work with the Luke robotic arm I really feel this Slingshot is a ploy to beef up his image.

RE: I'm sorry 2 grand?
By MuHak on 9/14/2009 7:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I can't edit but here is another supporting website;

RE: I'm sorry 2 grand?
By drmo on 9/16/2009 9:58:37 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, but this one can do 250 gallons a day; that is 946 liters. So in 26 days, it makes the 25,000 liters that the $546 device you mentioned does. In less than 4 months, it would pay for itself (compared to the lifesaver), and it produces enough in a day for a village. Assuming it lasts several years, it more than makes up for its initial costs.

Of course, the lifesaver would be useful in disaster times, or when there is no electricity, but cost-wise, it is nowhere close.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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