Dean Kamen, the man who said his human transporter invention would change people's lives, says this new invention could change the world. The quirky inventor demonstrates his latest creation for correspondent Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
After Kamen's demonstration, Rather gulps down what only moments before was a green and briny liquid. "I hope I don't double over the rest of the day," says Rather as he drinks the machine-purified water.
The multi-millionaire inventor also gives Rather a unique look at his other inventions, including the much-anticipated personal transporter known as the Segway. Kamen has been lobbying around the country for legislation that will allow the Segway to be used on sidewalks.
"More than half the human population lives in cities," says Kamen. "If we could give them an attractive, productive alternative to using great big vehicles to get around at speeds of seven or eight miles an hour, which is the average speed of a taxicab in the 20 largest cities on the planet, it would by itself be a huge, huge solution to the congestion and pollution and energy-demand problems the world is facing today."
The Stirling engine is the basis of Kamen's latest attempt to change the world. Engineers have dreamed about it for at least a century, and Kamen thinks he has conquered the technological obstacles. He hopes the Stirling engine will enable him to build a device that can deliver electricity and drinking water to remote locations.