One of the world’s growing problems, not only in developing countries, is access to clean drinking water. Over ¾ billion people could benefit from a partnership between Coca-Cola Corporation and Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway.
Kamen’s company DeKa, also holds patents on stirling engine designs, the AutoSyringe drug infusion pump, and even an all-terrain electric wheelchair, the iBOT. Another one of Kamen’s inventions, which hasn’t made it to market yet, is a water purification system.
Back in 2003, the technology in the Slingshot, a water purification device, was originally shown on 60 Minutes, and again in 2008 on The Colbert Report. The problem is, by 2009, the machine had cost hundreds of thousands to develop and build, and really wants to get the price below $2,000 to market it. What would you get for a less-than-$2,000 water purification device?
Kamen’s Slingshot is designed to convert any water supply, from river water to raw sewage, into clean drinking water at a rate of ten gallons per hour. Those 240 gallons of potable water per day could supply the drinking-water needs of over 200 people. The Slingshot runs on less than 1kW, which means it could be powered by solar, batteries, or local grid electricity, which make it suitable for installation in remote areas where there may be no power grid.
Coca-Cola could be a good partner in this venture, as they themselves are looking to completely recycle the water they use during processing and manufacturing. The weight of Coca-Cola’s financial backing and further development could help push the price of Kamen’s Slingshot down to a marketable price, as well as help Coca-Cola meet its goal by 2020.