Dean Kamen Profile

This is NOT Dean Kamen’s web site

It pains me to have to draw attention to something so blatantly obvious, but I’ve received so many emails and comments that it’s obvious some people need it spelled out. Folks, just because Google sent you here doesn’t make it accurate.

So don’t waste your time here trying to get in touch with Kamen - go over to DEKA Research and you might have better luck.

Image of Dean Kamen
Inventor Dean Kamen
With all of the hype surrounding the mysterious invention 'Ginger', its inventor, Dean Kamen, has become the focal point of a frenzy of speculation.

Kamen's life, unlike his inventions, isn't enigmatic. The 49-year-old inventor actually courts attention, holding lavish parties for famous and powerful people, all the while pushing the idea inventors will become the superstars of the 21st century.

He nurtures this belief by operating a nonprofit venture called U.S. First (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) which encourages children and teens to follow an engineering or scientific career path.

“Our culture celebrates one thing: sports heroes,” he said in a recent Wired magazine article, “You have teenagers thinking they're going to make millions as NBA stars when that's not realistic for even one percent of them. Becoming a scientist or an engineer is.”

Kamen's own childhood is filled with scientific achievements and inventions. He's a self-taught physicist whose aptitude for entrepreneurism was already earning him $60,000 a year before he even graduated from high school. One of his biggest jobs as a teenager was to automate the ball drop for New York's Time Square New Year's Eve celebrations.

One of his first highly successful inventions in the 1970s was inspired by his brother, who was a medical student at the time. Kamen invented the first portable infusion pump to assist in the reliable, scheduled delivery of drugs to hospital patients.

Another of his famous, lucrative inventions was a dialysis machine the size of a phone book in the mid-1990s. Up to this point, dialysis machines were large, bulky machines that required patients to make frequent trips to the hospital. Kamen's invention made it possible for patients to have home care, freeing up hospital resources.

“I don't work on a project unless I believe that it will dramatically improve life for a bunch of people,” Kamen told NBC news last year.

Dean Kamen demonstates the Ibot to Bill Clinton
Deam Kamen demonstrates the Ibot for former President Bill Clinton
Photo courtesy of NBC News
Kamen thrives on publicity. He's frequently in the company of powerful and famous people, including former president Bill Clinton, to whom he recently showed one of his latest inventions.

What Clinton got to see was the Ibot Transporter. The Ibot (initially developed in the mid-80's) is a super-powered, highly stable wheelchair, capable of climbing stairs without assistance and rolling over unstable terrain. It can also raise the user up on two of its wheels, putting the user at eye-level with a standing person.

To publicize the Ibot, Kamen used one to climb the stairs of the Eiffel Tower in Paris from the ground floor to the restaurant level. He then called prominent venture capitalist John Doerr on his cell phone to boast about his achievement.

Many people point to the Ibot as a possible taking off point for his latest invention, the highly secretive 'Ginger'. Some maintain that Ginger is probably some kind of personal transportation unit, which could be based partially on the Ibot's design.

With all of the publicity surrounding his inventions, Kamen's main goal is to continue development with his company, DEKA Research & Technology, and to spread the good word about his First program.

His goal? To have every student in the U.S. enrolled in his program.

While some naysayers are skeptical of his chances for success, Bill Murphy, a First board member recently told Wired, “You watch. Dean's a schemer. He won't quit until it happens.”


1.Posted by: Sandy at March 19, 2002 10:49 PM

Is it possible to use this incredible technology to create a sort of sleeve for an arm or a leg that will help someone who has had a stroke move their limbs again?

2.Posted by: Kelly at May 8, 2002 6:23 PM

Dean Kaman's FIRST program is such a great experience for high schoolers! My brother is a member of a FIRST Lego League team, which is for elementary students, in which they make robots out of Legos. This year we made it to nationals where the high school teams were also compeating. This experience was AMAZING!!
These highschoolers were doing things I would have never thought possible, and I can't wait to be on a team of my own! GO FIRST!!

3.Posted by: Brian Watson at May 15, 2002 5:49 AM

how can kids in New Zealand be linked into this FIRST stuff!!!

4.Posted by: Annafe Tanciongco at January 11, 2003 7:22 PM

I liked to watch National Geographic in Cable channel, then of there feature is Dean Kamen " inventor", as i watch it and hear all the story about him. I told myself this is guy is my "inspiration". His 21st century, a combination of engineering and computer knowledge. Everytime i check on my email, i see to it that I browse on his name and read all his achievement. I hope someday i could be 1% of his talent. "You're the BEST, SIR!!!!" Goodluck

5.Posted by: Anonymous at January 14, 2003 11:24 AM

this is boring

6.Posted by: Rick Backus at January 20, 2003 12:20 PM

Mr. Kaman--Has your lab group ever considered a "Quick-Connect" device for "Wooden Legs"? It would allow gimps/limps to correctly and effectively change "feet" with out constantly adjusting hard to get at bolts and adjustment devices.

7.Posted by: Ginger Lawson at April 6, 2003 11:30 AM

Attn: Dean Kaman
Do you travel to universities and speak to student populations? I have followed your work for several years and would really like to have more of a dialogue with you for public relations as I work at a university in Springfield, MO. Students here could really benefit from the motivation and direction you could offer.

What do you think. Please advise.
Ginger Lawson

8.Posted by: Robert Fisher at August 5, 2003 8:06 AM

To extend the development of the kidney dialysis machine, can you fund or participate in the development of a machine that could "incubate" a damaged kidney, nurture it, feed it antibiotics or whatever and permit it to heal so that it could be re-implanted in the original person. no lifetime of anti-rejection drugs.

9.Posted by: Randy Thies at August 27, 2003 7:06 PM

It is very impressive to watch all of the inventions and how they help people on TV. We are trying to help people also.
Is it possible that Mr. Dean Kamen would be able to help us with our FFA safety project. We are the Crusader FFA Chapter and Crusader FFA/4-H Club. We would like to take the idea across the country. It is called 4-Forever.
We are part of Venice Middle School. 1900 Center Drive, Venice Florida 34292. We have called TV stations, however, have limited exposure at this time. This is one of our student's community service projects. They also support two students overseas with $56 per month and are working on a Red Cross project.
4-Forever stands for "It takes 4 seconds to put your seat belt on or you could be gone forever." The idea is original and we are currently trying to work with youth groups. This labor day weekend we will be on street corners with signs. We are working with FFA and 4-H.
We are in the infant stage however if we can make a 10% reduction in loss of life and injury by increasing seat belt usage we would save over 2400 lives and approximately $3.6 Billion in the US alone. The idea is to get the idea out in the public, then, just like the saying, "Just do it", we can make the point about putting seat belts on with simple signs that say 4-4ever or 4-forever.....People will no what it means....
In addition, we are making contacts with people that were in accidents where they were the only ones with seat belts on and the only survivors.
We have 100 FFA and 4-h members in our middle school. We have an agriculture science class and an agriculture technology class. We hope to get our message to millions by the end of the year.
Thank-you...Randy Thies...FFA Advisor...

10.Posted by: Rick Gallaher at August 27, 2003 8:22 PM

Please send to Dean or his Staff engineer

I just saw 60 min II with Dean Kaman and his dream of pure water for third world powers.

I spent the summer of 74 in Ethiopia building wells. I saw women that spent 8 hours a day ever day in the search for water. I also saw that they would burn dung for fuel and the would spend hours looking for fuel.

Concurring your invention with the Sterling engine. The heat source could be solar operated. My experiments show that with a mirror and simple coils that water could reach boiling point with average temperatures in the 80s. It the water dissolution system has a simple added solar panel the system could be totally environmental friendly.

Yours Truly,
Rick Gallaher

11.Posted by: Ed Burts at August 27, 2003 10:00 PM

Would you help develop a good idea With the originator or inventor of the idea on a percentage?
Please responde either way. Thank you.
Ed Burts

12.Posted by: Shirley Palmer at August 27, 2003 10:25 PM

Forced my kids to watch 60 mins TV program and they saw your inventions. My daughter really loves science and my son has great interest in robotics. Both are younger teenagers and enjoyed the parts where the kids got to put together machines (is that what we should call them?)and compete with other kids, for scholarships etc. We live in British Columbia, Canada and wonder if you ever get this way or have any inspirational material you can send them to keep the enthusiasm growing! Thanks.

13.Posted by: Dr. Patrick J. Udeh at August 28, 2003 7:45 AM

Dear Mr. Kamen,

I heard about you from 60 minutes II with Dan Rather. I must say to you that I was highly overwhelmed. And I thank you so much for trying providing palatable and drinkable water in Africa nations. As you can see from my last name, I am an African, specifically from Nigeria.
Now let me introduce myself to you. I am a 49 years old Civil Engineer. I have a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering from California State University, and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Oklahoma State University with emphasis in Water treatment. I am an expert in water treatment and drinking water quality technology. I have published many articles in the journals, and currently writing a book in drinking water quality. I am currently writing a book in drinking water quality constituents issues, which will consists of four categories, namely microbiological contaminants, inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, and radioactive materials in drinking water. I intend to have the book publish some time next year. I am currently employed with Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Waterworks and Sewer Maintenance Division, Water Quality Section. I would like to be a spoke person for your company in drinking water treatment technology area. In addition to representing your company in Africa continent.
I can be reached at work (626) 300-03393, Monday to Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. and at home (310) 973-7771. Your attention to this letter will be greatly appreciated.


Patrick J. Udeh, Ph.D.

14.Posted by: Penny at August 28, 2003 8:29 AM

I'm totaly amazed by this man...he is god sent..the way he is helping the children...I wish there was someone for the baby boomers...years ago..I sure could of used some insperations back then...keep up the good work Dean... :o)

15.Posted by: Stephanie at September 5, 2003 7:30 AM

I heard about Dean on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago. I am a first year university student and I am so amazed at what Dean has done and is doing with the water treatment for third world countries. Please send me more information on this water treatment invention! Thanks!

16.Posted by: Dr. Patrick Udeh at September 1, 2004 7:57 AM

Dear Mr. Kamen:

Effective immediately, I would like you to remove my letter that you posted online. That letter was supposed to private and confidential.I urge you to remove it immediately. I do not want you to use me Sir. You have never responded to my letter. Remove it immediately.

Patrick J. Udeh, Ph.D.

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