Good Example Of Dean Kamen And First Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Innovation, Students, Invention, People, Development, Technology, Reputation, Science

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/12/23

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Dean Kamen is one of the leading American scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs. Most of the critics and other people refer to him as the modern day Thomas Edison (Encyclopedia of World Biography np). Two of his most useful inventions are the Segway Human Transporter (HT) and the wheelchair which is powered by iBOT battery. Based on his inventions and ideas, he wanted to revolutionize the way of life of the people especially how we travel (Alexander 95). He always wanted to give solutions to everyday problems such as excessive pollution and scarcity of water. One of his latest and useful inventions is the water purifier which could run using small amount of power and could produce very low amounts of pollution (Grossman 72).
Aside from inventions and ideas, Dean Kamen is also known for his dedication in promoting science and engineering to most of the students especially in the United States. Dean Kamen also wanted to spread the interest over science and technology. In order to do that, he and his co-leagues established the ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’ (First) (Encyclopedia of World Biography np). It is a youth organizations that organizes events and competitions which could recognized the students or people who is inclined with science and technology. It also operates educational programs and day camps to inspire students in the field of engineering.
Dean Kamen is one of the most respectable and reputable person in the modern times. His contributions to the world of science and engineering are very remarkable and his latest works could help revolutionize the way of life of the people. The objective of this research paper is to analyze the recent works of Dean Kamen especially the FIRST. The paper also opts to evaluate how his recent works affected his reputation as an inventor, scientist and entrepreneur.

Dean Kamen

Dean Kamen grew up in Long Island, New York. He was born in 1951. His mother is Evelyn who was a teacher and his father is Jack Kamen who is a comic book illustrator. As a child, Dean Kamen is very curious and bright. However, he did not excel in his academics in school. As a teenager, he used his interest in science and technology creates simple inventions. He was hired by some musicians and local bands to design and install the sounds and light system during their performances. He is already earning large amount of money before he even graduated high school (Encyclopedia of World Biography np).
After high school, he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He did not finish his degree since he is not interested in attending classes. Rather, he is focused on his inventions and researches. During his days in WPI, he developed the ‘AutoSyringe’ which is a drug infusion pump. It becomes an important tool in medicine which changed the treatment method of patients. The ‘AutoSyringe’ is a device or a tool worn by patients that provides or administers the doses of medication. He used his invention to quit college and founded his own company. He quickly became successful for his company and invention since the medical community rapidly accepted the ‘AutoSyringe’. In 1982, he sold his company to a medical company which made him a millionaire and started to further study other inventions (Encyclopedia of World Biography np).


After he sold his ‘AutoSyringe’ Company, he started to build his own company and started to study and build other useful inventions. He launched the DEKA Research and Development which is name after the first two letters of his given name and family name (Harris np). At first, he hired many engineers and workers to develop his early inventions and works. They are focused on the inventions which are useful to the medical community since it has a large amount of market (Alexander 95). The company could grow easily if they developed the inventions which could be sold to health-care community such as the ‘HomeChoice’ or the portable machine which could process kidney dialysis (Grossman 72).
He tried to impress the health-care community by producing hundreds of his early inventions (Perloth np). His passion in improving the health-care system and the large opportunities as well as his strong interest in medicine became his reason for developing these inventions with his own company. He promised the medical community to develop a stair-climbing wheelchair which could be very helpful for patients (Grossman 72). He called it the Independence iBOT 3000 Mobility System. It could run on many kinds of terrain even with sand or gravel. The iBOT was put into market in 2003 but the success of this product is not as expected (Alexander 95). People who bought the product went to a special training in order to use the product.
Kamen is popular as an inventor rather than an entrepreneur since he focused on inventing useful tools rather than expanding his own company. His most popular invention is the ‘Segway PT’ which is a human transporter run by electricity. This device has two wheels and only moves with the movement of the body weight. It also became popular due to the hype and speculation which is created by leak information before the release of the product. Due to the success of the product in the market, he gained is reputation as a brilliant American Inventor. After the ‘Segway PT’ he is now focused on inventing tools that could help mankind in its major problems such as pollution and scarcity of water.
In the modern times, Dean Kamen is now a reputable inventor and a wealthy and successful company owner (Grossman 72). The DEKA Company holds many patents for the inventions used in the medical community especially the portable dialysis machine. He is now focused on developing solutions to the major problems of mankind such as pollution and water scarcity. He also explores other inventions he could develop and tried to inspire other people to think of other tools that could be useful to mankind. Dean Kamen has a very brilliant mind who invents many useful things even without the proper education (Alexander 95).


Dean Kamen together with Woodie Flowers established the ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’ (FIRST). It is a youth organization which operates the robotics and Lego competitions which could promote the importance of Robotics and Engineering in everyday lives. Kamen and Flowers founded the organization in order to inspire students and other people in joining them or embracing science and technology (Harris np). Their main objective is to spread the interest of science and technology to other people especially for the students (Perloth np). Aside from the yearly competition, the organization also operates the FIRST Place which is a research facility. It is the venue for educational camps and educational programs which could inspire students and teachers (Grossman 72).
The FIRST is a non-profit organization. It holds competitions about Robotics, LEGO and technology. Their participants are students from different schools around the United States. Before a team could enter the competition, they pay fees as a registration or licensure for each league. The payments are used in buying Robotic parts for the competition as well as giving prizes to the winners (Grossman 72). The revenue is also used in the educational camps which are held in the FIRST Place. In short, the organization’s mission is to provide opportunities for students to develop their skills and interest towards science and technology especially in the field of Robotics.
The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is the first and the highest program developed by the youth organization. The participants are high school students which have the opportunities in working with several engineers to develop a Robot. Its main objective is to inspire the students to become engineers. In 2011, there have been 46,000 students who competed in the league from many parts of the world such as Australia, United States and Canada (Alexander 95). The FIRST created the FIRST Tech Competition (FTC) for more affordable and accessible options for most of the students. On the other hand, the FIRST LEGO League was established for 9 to 14 year-old students. It utilizes the LEGO Mindstorms set for students to build a small size robot (Harris np).
These competitions have been successful in inspiring students to embrace science, engineering and technology. The simplicity of the competition was one of its main advantages over other competitions around the world. The main philosophy that the FIRST wants to promote is the spirit of teamwork and collaboration (Alexander 95). The youth organization wants to teach the students that the most important aspect of developing a technology is the teamwork. Helping each other is one of the most important aspects of becoming an engineer. Both Kamen and Flowers introduced some of their patented ideas or terms which could be useful for the future development of the students who participated in the competitions and educational camps (Harris np).

The Failure of the Development of Segway PT

The released of the iBOT created a media flurry since it could revolutionize the medical community (Perloth np). However, the speculations and media hype about the Segway PT is more intense. Most of the people know that Kamen is working on a secret project and this invention takes 10 years of development. In his most interviews, he said that his next invention which came later as the Segway PT could help most of the people especially for human transportation (Harris np). The leak information about the Segway PT in the non-fiction book Code Name Ginger by journalist Steve Kemper also created the media blizzard about Kamen’s new invention. It was described as a big deal of an invention and it could revolutionize the modern technology. The speculations and hype about the new invention of Kamen raises the expectations about this device (Grossman 72).
The Segway PT is a sustainable human transporter which has no brakes and engine. It only moves with the movement of human weight. It also has no steering wheels and it is self-balancing like the iBOT. The iBOT and the Segway PT rely on the system of electronic sensors, chips and gyroscopes in order to transport a cargo up to 250 lbs. In general terms, the Segway PT will do what the driver would like to do without the maneuver system of a modern day car. The Segway PT could be used in many adequate sidewalks and be more useful for older people who could not walk normally (Grossman 72).
Both the people and Kamen have very high hopes for the development of the Segway PT. It could help many people and could be revolutionize how people travel through the sidewalks of the streets (Alexander 95). Kamen did not expect his new invention to be a toy scooter. He expects the Segway PT to be the solution to overpopulated cities. Instead of using cars and other modern day transporter, the Segway PT could be used in reducing the carbon footprint of transportation. Pollution and congestion around the overpopulated cities could be removed or eliminated using the Segway PT. In short, Kamen wanted his invention to have a significant impact to the world like his early inventions.
In 2004, the Segway PT which is one of the latest inventions of Kamen was not successful. Most of the people are curious about the new invention but they are not interested in buying it. There are only 6000 machines which were sold around the world. There are also many problems about the machine (Grossman 72). The riders of the machine suddenly fall when the battery went very low. They could also not use the Segway PT for overpopulated areas since there is less space for the machine (Schwartz np). There are also cities that prevented people from using the Segway PT in the sidewalks due to its large space consumption. The failure of the Segway PT as Kamen’s major invention is a major blow to his career and reputation as a brilliant inventor and entrepreneur (Perloth np).


Dean Kamen gained his reputation as a brilliant inventor using his early inventions that were used in his first company which is the ‘AutoSyringe’. He focused on inventing tools which could help the medical community and acquired many awards due to these inventions. He joined the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 for his major contributions to the medical community (Alexander 95). His biomedical devices revolutionize the health-care community and helped many patients around the world. He also got his award due to his promotion of science and engineering for the students using his youth organization FIRST. He inspired many students around the world to become engineers and help mankind in the future (Grossman 72).
The failure of the Segway PT became a major blow for his reputation as an inventor and as an entrepreneur. His reputation as an inventor is more important to his career since he is the one inspiring the students and the youth in pursuing career in science and technology (Perloth np). The invention is useful in many ways but its commercialization is a failure. Only few people acquired the machine and there are many problems associated with it (Schwartz np). One of the major reasons why the failure of the Segway PT is detrimental to his reputation is that he promoted the machine before it was released. He raised a very high expectation for his new invention but it later became a failure (Harris np).
Dean Kamen spends a lot of money and time in developing the Segway PT (Grossman 72). The failure of the device in the market is also a major blow for his company. He lost a lot of money for the investment of the large production of his invention and a lot of time developing other projects aside from the Segway PT. He has a lot of hope for the development of the Segway PT but the people could not easily see it. They only viewed the Segway PT as a toy scooter which could be used by people who could not normally walk (Alexander 95).
The failure of the Segway PT will be a footnote for his career and most of the people will remember it. It could also provide difficulties for his pursue of his legacy which is helping mankind for its major problem. The failure of the machine could also become a challenge for Dean Kamen. In order to regain his reputation, he should provide other inventions which could help mankind to solve its major problem such as global warming and pollution. Kamen should also be cautious about predicting the success of his future inventions in order to avoid this kind of failure (Perloth np).

Importance of FIRST and His Future Inventions on His Reputation

The youth organization FIRST has been a major proponent for building the reputation of Kamen as one of the brilliant minds of the modern era. He inspired people especially the students in the field of science and technology not only using his inventions but also letting them experience the field of engineering. Kamen could be remembered as the inspiration of most of the students in pursuing career in technology and engineering. However, he should have enough credentials in order to maintain its reputation to the people. His contribution to the biomedical treatment could be enough credential but the failure of the Segway PT could easily erase it. In order to inspire more people using the FIRST, he should be successful enough to encourage most students to pursue their dream of helping mankind through engineering and technology (Alexander 95).
Dean Kamen should be more careful in predicting the success of his future inventions. In the modern times, he is focused on rebuilding his reputation by developing solutions to the major problems of global warming and pollution (Schwartz np). One of his latest invention or technological development is the Stirling engine which could be a sustainable alternative to the traditional fuel engines. Development of these kinds of technology could be very helpful in maintaining Kamen’s reputation as an inventor and as an entrepreneur (Grossman 72). Although he would be remembered as a great American inventor, there are many problems to be solved in which he could be helpful.


Dean Kamen is a reputable American inventor and entrepreneur. He developed tools and devices that could help the medical community such as the ‘AutoSyringe’ which is one of his earliest inventions. Dean Kamen also established his reputation as an inspiration to the students who has a dream of pursuing career in engineering and technology. He helped in the foundation of the FIRST which promotes science and engineering to students through Robotics competition. Dean Kamen helps people through his inventions and through his promotion. However, his reputation become at stake due to the failure of one of his major invention which is the Segway PT. He has a lot of expectations for his invention but its failure became a major blow for his career as well as his company.

Works Cited:

Alexander, Max. Wow, Isn't That Cool.  Smithsonian. 2003. Print.
Encyclopedia of World Biography. Dean Kamen Biography. N.d. Web.
Grossman, Lev. Water Purifier: Thousands Die Every Day for Lack of Clean Water. Can the Man Who Invented the Segway Save Them?. Time 2003. Print.
Harris, Mark. Brain Scan: Mr Segway’s Difficulty Path. The Economist. 2010. Web.
Perloth, Nicole. Dean Kamen’s Legacy Project. Forbes. 2009. Web.
Schwartz, John. On the Pavement, a New Contender. New York Times. 2003. Web.

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