Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway almost 20 years ago, is still busy inventing. Now, at the age of 69, he is working on the most ambitious project of his career: manufacturing organs
When the FDA approves lab-grown human organs for patients, Dean Kamen wants to be ready to mass-produce them
This past January, the umpteenth version of the Segway Personal Transporter whisked attendees around in its white, egg-shaped seat at CES, the huge annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. Called the Segway S-Pod, it drew comparisons to the hover-chairs in Wall-E that shuttled around people so out of shape and blob-like, they’d forgotten how to stand.
This is not how Dean Kamen, who invented the Segway almost 20 years ago, imagined his legacy.
Kamen was inspired to create a device like the Segway in the early ’90s, when he noticed a young man who’d lost his legs in a wheelchair at the mall. It seemed like everywhere Kamen went that night, he bumped into the guy, seeing him unable to get over a curb or reach a high shelf at Radio Shack, too low to be noticed in line at the ice cream counter. Kamen had already been thinking about how to help the disabled. “And I just decided, you know what?” he says. “I’m going to solve that problem.”