The Slingshot water purification system was invented by Dean Kamen, the guy who invented the Segway PT. His purpose was to develop a system that was inexpensive to manufacture that could also provide a high volume of purified water. His target market seems to be Third World countries, although he clearly hopes that the wealthy countries of the world will help supply them with this vitally needed resource. He thinks he can get the price down to about $1,000 to $2,000. And he estimates that it could provide enough drinking water for a village of about 100 people.
Dean Kamen is possibly the world’s greatest living inventor. Although he has been well-known among futurists for years, he rose to wider fame when he invented the Segway in 2001. His inventions also include the world’s first wheelchair capable of climbing and descending stairs, and the world’s first drug infusion pump which is used to provide diabetics with insulin on an as-needed basis. Kamen is remarkable because unlike most inventors, he does not work under the umbrella of a large corporation, university, or government agency. He is truly a DIY innovator.
Kamen’s latest invention sets the stage to change the lives of billions of people over the next decade. His new water purification system, dubbed the Slingshot, is far cheaper and more accessible than anything that has come before it. The refrigerator-sized Slingshot is capable of taking “anything wet,” in Kamen’s words, and transforming it into water that is so pure that it can be both consumed and used in sterile injections. It can convert ocean water, polluted water, or raw sewage from an outhouse into pure drinking water.