Dean Kamen, creator of the Segway and robotic arms, has invented an eco-friendly water regenerator that can take nearly any source of moisture -- including ocean water, urine or sewage--and quickly turn it into safe drinking water. The device, called the Slingshot, can help save the environment in a cost-effective way, Kamen claims.
The Slingshot process operates by means of vapor compression distillation using cow dung as a fuel. It requires no filters and produces not only drinkable water but also a constant output of one kilowatt of electricity.
CNN Money quotes Kamen as saying, "Eighty percent of all the diseases you could name would be wiped out if you just gave people clean water."
"The water purifier makes 1,000 liters of clean water a day, and we don't care what goes into it. And the power generator makes a kilowatt off of anything that burns," he added.
Kamen's generator is based on one of the most efficient Stirling engines that produces enough electricity to power 70 light bulbs or one high-end gaming PC. The eco-friendly gadget is not yet ready to be launched in the market but its target price is set for $1,000 to $2,000.
An estimated 1.1 billion people in the world don't have access to clean drinking water, and an estimated 1.6 billion don't have electricity. The device will help people in economically deprived villages and other rural areas.
Iqbal Quadir, the founder of Grameen Phone, the largest cell phone company in Bangladesh, is collaborating with Kamen to provide this regenerator in his country in a field trial. Kamen's Deka Research and Development has been approached by Cambridge, Massachusetts, based Emergence Energy to license the technology.