Christian Long

Dean Kamen: Inventing and Giving

In TED Talks on April 19, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Reflection by MATT S.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc

Dean Kamen:  Inventing and Giving

I really enjoyed hearing him talk about how when he was building the iBOT, the big idea wasn’t really technology but more for the disabled community. It makes one think that he’s an inventor that makes something for the community and for a good purpose, rather than doing it for competition against other sellers. That shows me integrity.

Dean talks about how every form of transportation had been improved, from a Conestoga wagon to the railroad, now airplane and in 5,000 years, we’re going backwards in getting around cities.

His idea is to make getting around more fun so that’s why he invented the Segway.

But there was a problem.

The Segway has a motor and wheels so it’s considered a motor-vehicle and the law lags on technology and would likely tell people with Segways they don’t belong on sidewalks; giving them only two options. One, they’re a recreational vehicle that doesn’t really matter or two, be out on the street in front of a Greyhound bus or car.

Later Dean and some other people talked to a high ranking man and got them to agree that the Segway was safe for sidewalk use. And now a days you will see some people on sidewalks with Segways and you also see mall cops on Segways.

What Dean really is saying, is that it is safer to ride on a machine that weighs way less than a 4,000 pound car, to get around places and it’s almost as convenient.

In some areas, technology makes the world a better and safer place.


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