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My Generation

Dean Kamen: Fixing the World

Inventor inspires future generations of innovators

Dean Kamen is one of today’s leading innovators. He’s famous for inventing the Segway and creating a wheelchair that climbs stairs, among other devices enhancing personal mobility. Kamen founded his company DEKA Research and Development in 1982, and the business is exclusively involved in inventing.

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“DEKA picks our projects based on one and only one thing: It’s got to be important, and if we succeed, it has to have the possibility of improving lives for a lot of people,” he says.

Fixing the world started for Kamen on Long Island, N.Y., in 1951. The son of a teacher (his  mother) and an illustrator (his father worked for Weird Science and Mad comic book), Kamen, before he was 30, had invented a wearable pump to deliver medicine. That invention, the AutoSyringe, made him a multimillionaire.

Today, Kamen holds more than 440 patents, employs 400 engineers, scientist and tool makers and has an invested interest to inspire tomorrow’s generation of innovators. Last March, Kamen attended the First Robotics Competition in Philadelphia, where he is a rock star to young people.    

“Kids in this country and around the world need to have role models and need to find heroes from the world of science and technology that can inspire them to do great things,” he says.

My Generation takes you to the first ever Robotics Competition in Philadelphia.

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