Purified water technology

I usually try to do actual posts rather than just pointing to another article. But Dean Kamen’s new water purification device is a really neat idea. If you haven’t heard about the Grameen Bank, you might want to check it out.

39 Responses to Purified water technology (Leave a comment)

  1. n

    I’m a Kamen fan, but not this one. Too complicated for 3rd world use, and just not necessary to make waste heat given the huge amount of solar energy in poor countries.

    If you have wood, burn it in the absense of air to make charcoal and make a charcoal filter by stuffing the charcoal and straw packing into a pipe rather than use it to drive a stirling engine.

    If you don’t have wood, solar is a better/free heat source for a solar still.

  2. Hopefully it will be more of a success then his Segway πŸ˜‰

  3. I love the Segway! So much fun!!

  4. rob

    Did the Segway bomb as badly as the Sinclair C5?

    The Googlies seem to like them!

  5. You are still going to need NGO’s to buy into the idea for Africa. The Indian model works well.

  6. Aaron Pratt

    Very cool.

  7. I’m surprised Google hasn’t bought the rights yet…



    Tempting, eh Matt?


  8. Now if we can only have the same technology to purify the serps.
    You know why these guys do this Matt?
    Because google rewards webmasters putting porn pages on a ostensibly family site.Thats why and the only reason why.

  9. “Lights, water, freedom” Awesome concept.
    Grameen Bank totally rocks and bravo to Kamen!

    Hey, I’m heading down to your neck of the woods for Mashup Camp.
    It’s really starting to look like a great event!

  10. Dave Markland

    I thInk some scepticism about Grameen Bank is warranted. According to Doug Henwood, whose newsletter Left Business Observer is called “invaluable” by Noam Chomsky, Grameen “leaves women poor, and is no challenge to patriarchy”. Here’s a link to an article in his publication that examines it:

    It notes:
    “After 8 years of borrowing, 55% of Grameen households still aren’t able to meet their basic nutritional needs – so many women are using their loans to buy food rather than invest in business. That’s a figure that the press fails to mention. Ditto the World Bank, which in its 1995 study of Grameen, focused mainly on the bank’s financial viability, determining if the program was breaking even or, better yet, turning a profit. It’s not; unfortunately, only foreign grants are keeping it afloat.”

  11. Gomer

    Thanks Matt.

    Here are some links related to social entrepreneurship:


  12. Harith

    Thanks Matt!

    Gadgets post at last! Mmmm. Gadgets-y goodness πŸ™‚

    Next Gadgets post maybe about Purified gateway pages technology! where software enginner at the plex write a program to identify and de-index sites using gateway pages …. Automatically!!!

    I.e no need for spam-reporting in future. That way the youngsters of WebSpam Team will have more time to deal with re-inclusion requests quickly πŸ™‚

  13. Learned these stuff from my Economics class πŸ™‚ Nice read though.

  14. DoingItWell

    Amazaing project, the Grameen Bank. Somewhat ususual to find it so hard to donate/invest in a project like that.

    And would yo believe it, comment spam in the guestbook. :-/

  15. I believe this is a stirling engine. I remember seeing an interview with him back when the Segway was first introduced and he was demonstrating the stirling engines and I think even talking about powering Segway’s with that type of engine.


  16. Noel O'Brien

    Great article Matt!

    I wish Dean Kamen all the success with his concept.

  17. It is really good when you hear about non-war related inventions. Hope Kamen will actually find a way to make this machine selled at $1000

  18. (Off topic)

    Come on Matt. It’s not “Search Engine Optimisation” to add an unrelated link to somebody else’s wiki. It’s just rude.

  19. BillyS

    I got a chance to ride a Segway at a trade show about 3 years ago. I even suggested that our company purchase three units on a trial basis. The safety folks were afraid – walking was safer. In the places where we could really use them there was also a concern about them being stolen (although they have keys, they can be picked up and thrown into the back of a truck.

    I’ve yet to see one on the road…

    While water purification is a great idea, the Grameen Bank is even better.

  20. This seems to be a good place to bring up a report in the March – April issue of Foreign Policy magazine. It has an article in the Net Effects section of the magazine talking about how Google AdSense actually provides some people in various locations throughout the third world wages that far outstrip the prevailing pay. I’d really never thought about that aspect of the program before, and it kind of fascinated me. What seems like mere change to those of us lucky enough to be in the wealthiest countries of the world can actually elevate people to higher economic classes quite easily in the poorer countries. If a community got together and came up with some unique content (which should be fairly easy, considering how little most of the “civilized world” knows about the daily life and culture of people in the third world) there would be the potential to help them purchase equipment like the inventions Matt C. is talking about here.

    (Of course, that doesn’t mean I want them black hatting to get their results, but just the same, kudos to Google for giving a tool with such power to the world.)

  21. I think it does have a Stirling engine, John. You know how efficient those suckers are.

    HaHa, I’ve passed on that site. We’ll dissect it and see what it reveals.

  22. Harith

    Good morning Matt

    Some of the folks at WMW have noriced indications of a PR update!!

    And I see my beloved faithful friend BigDaddy in progress on several DCs.

    Any interim weather report?

    Have a great day and a rich Gadgets posts week πŸ™‚

  23. Zammy

    This is a cool find, Matt.

    It reminds me of another breakthrough technology from a Singaporean company called Hyflux. It has a consumer product called Acquovate.

    It literally creates water out of nothing!

    Check the tv ad out too..

  24. George Ter-Saakov

    Hi Matt,
    Want to ask you a question about highlighting in Google search results.
    I always thought that highligting is a simple highlighting of words in a stream of text.

    But look at this

    Why in the URL (#1) with United_States_Washington_Seattle_Burke the “Washing” is not getting highlited and in
    #10 http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/reference/seattle_washington

    The “washing” is highlighted

    Is it simple mistake in highlighting algorithm?


  25. Stephen

    Yes, Matt

    Any news on BD – still Mid March looking about right.

    Hope it delivers on what I want πŸ™‚

  26. no new son BD, but it looks like they finally did a long expected PR update! Got my first 6 this time! (3 actually).. hopefully I can get a 7 by next time..

  27. The problem is that this kind of initiatives are always commercial, it whould be more governmental things

  28. Stephen

    Ground control to Matt Cutts ? πŸ˜‰

  29. must have been a WILD presidents day celebration at the ‘plex… and Matt is still recovering from it.

  30. Dave

    RE: “Some of the folks at WMW have noriced indications of a PR update”

    That’s because they are PR junkies and think real PR updates are in synch with toolbar PR.

  31. Harith


    Anybody have seen or heard from Inigo lately πŸ™‚

  32. Sergio Balliana

    Dear Matt,
    I am afraid you will probably consider my questions and suggestions a fool. You say that Bigdaddy will help to eliminate spam. Well, I wish algorithm is in the beta testing phase now because if results are those in the first page of google.it with keyword “sementi biologiche”, then things are not going so good… (tested with

    About Doorpages, BMW case is waking up many seo agencies. By the way I would tell you what happened to me about it. A friend of mine asked me to help him with his web site ranking but he also underlined that I would not have modified site graphic or contents. I would have done visible pages in the main root of the site but my friend wasn’t agree. He considered me an ingenuous and showed me a lot of web sites that use redirect. In my opinion a doorpage with good contents would never be redirected. And what dou think about it?

    I would also do a third consideration about Dmoz. Here, in Italy, where everyone wants to be the more clever, it’s really difficult to have your own web site registered by Dmoz. The fact that editors are volunteers is not enough. Page Ranking advantages allowed creation of lobbies of few persons. Why not eliminating importance in page rank of Dmoz directory for Italy? Sitemap could be the right solution (who wants, with nothing to hide), and Dmoz will return at her first aim, the one for which it was born. What do you think?

    Thank you for your attention.

    Best regards,

  33. One thing I do not understand is how do they insure that the money will be paid back?

  34. Stephen

    Ground control to Matt Cutts ?

    Commencing countdown Big Daddy engine’s on ?

  35. Hi Matt,

    I found this swipe at your group on the same website in an article titled Imagining the Google Future. This was one of their scenarios:

    “SEOs, became a nuisance.[1] Optimizers could, for a fee, tweak how important your website appeared to Google’s PageRank engine by, say, hijacking the homepage of a major university and adding a link to your site.

    Despite a titanic struggle between Google’s top technologists and the SEOs, within years many of the popular search results were clogged with irrelevant (and barely literate) commercial and porn sites.”


  36. I had heard about this before, but it was nice to have an update. I think if I had a ‘hero’, it would be Dean Kamen. He has invented a number of medical devices that makes people’s lives better (many of the products give patients mobility away from large machines). Before you criticize the Segway (which is a lot of fun, I might add), remember that the technology was originally developed for the Ibot (iBot?) wheelchair. I’m not sure that tit has gone through FDA approval yet, so in the meantime he came out with the Segway. Kamen also started FIRST to get students interested in engineering and science.

  37. This guys motives are good but I see other uses for these machines as well such as emergency disaster relief. Putting these machines in civil defense shelters around the world is a good idea too if they get the cost down so you can keep lights and fresh water going while crisis is in full swing. Probably could’ve helped Katrina victims to be able to get water instead of waiting days for supplies.

  38. billlybob9er9er

    segways suck they’re for nerds. watch ur fellow nerd ppl on this google video: white and nerdy YOU NERD!