Dean Kamen and Google's Light Bulb

Dean Kamen and Google’s Light Bulb

Dean Kamen is probably best known to the American public as the guy who invented the Segway but there’s a great deal more to him than a funky, if technologically fascinating, scooter. His previous successful inventions include the first insulin pump and he has recently demonstrated a revolutionary new type of prosthetic arm.

This particular image was taken at the recent FIRST Robotics Competition Midwest Regional in Chicago where Dean made an appearance. As founder of the FIRST organisation, he is looked up to by all the competitors and goes out of his way to visit as many of the competitions as possible during the month or so that they are going on each Spring.

His visit to Chicago was important for another reason, as shown here. He introduced a new LED light bulb that has been developed specifically for sale by FIRST teams to help in fundraising. With a grant from Google to offset the startup costs of producing the bulbs and to get the price down to a point which makes them affordable, the bulbs will be sold by team members with 50% of the cost being retained by the team to help with the rather substantial costs associated with developing their robots and getting them and their teams to the competitions each year.

The bulbs use half the energy of a similar compact fluorescent and pay for themselves well within their 9 year expected lifespan so, if you see them on sale, do consider buying a couple to help both your own budget and the budgets of the robotics team selling them.

Update 4/13/11: I’ve posted all my favourite pictures from the FRC Midwest Regional here in case you want to see the 236 others.

Exif Information

  • ApertureValue: f/2.8
  • ShutterSpeedValue: 1/499 sec
  • ISOSpeedRatings: 2500
  • ExposureProgram: Manual
  • ExposureBiasValue: 0 EV
  • Flash: No Flash
  • FocalLength: 200 mm
  • Model: NIKON D700
  • Make: Nikon Corporation
  • MaxApertureValue: f/2.8
  • Copyright: Copyright (c) Dave Wilson, 2011
  • MeteringMode: Multi-Segment

Comments (3)

You are welcome to comment on this photo.

  • Wayne Frost

    Dean Kamen is brilliant and as a metaphor your image does a wonderful job of conveying the fact that Dean Kamen has brought light to a world darkened for people with medical or physiological issues. I really like this available light image, what software and steps did you use to process it, Dave?
    Wayne FrostĀ“s last post ..The Loring Building

  • Dave Wilson

    Wayne, this is another example of how well the D700 handles low light. I processed it entirely in Lightroom 3 – crop, noise reduction, a small white balance tweak and some darkening around the edges. The original is actually a lot sharper than this version would suggest since I suspect I had my JPEG quality level set a bit too low when I exported it.

    To me, Dean epitomises what an engineer should be all about – look for a real world problem and apply your skills to fix it. He’s used this approach in business at DEKA but also through FIRST which attempt to fix some of the major problems we have with science and technology education.

  • Google Plans to Announce Smart LED Deal With Lighting Science Group: Cleantech News and Analysis «

    [...] some speculation on my part: Entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen unveiled a new LED light bulb last month, which he has been using to help fund raise for his FIRST robotics group. Google pitched [...]

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