This is one of those stories that are just tangentially related to more environmentally friendly transportation. Dean Kamen is, of course, the creator of the Segway transporter. The Segway hasn't exactly taken the world by storm the way Kamen might have envisioned, which is probably due at least in part to the cost. But it does seem to have found a few niches where it is useful and the numbers of Segways in regular use (sometimes
in funny ways
) do seem to be increasing. Kamen's latest brainstorm is something called the Slingshot. If Kamen is to be believed this dung-powered device is capable of producing potable water from almost any liquid that contains H
O via vapor condensation so that no filters are needed. The purifier can produce about 1,000L of clean water per day. This could potentially be a huge boon to many parts of the world that have severe shortages of healthy water. The device also apparently produces enough electricity to power 70 light bulbs. Kamen believes the device would cost $1,000-2,000 in mass production. If this technology could be scaled up I wonder if it could be used to with some of the industrial farms in this country that are storing huge lagoons of animal waste. If the dung could be used to power the system and purify the waste while producing electricity it could address some of the environmental problems posed by these facilities. Of course it does nothing to address the treatment of the animals, but that's another story. A video of Kamen discussing his latest invention with Stephen Colbert is after the jump.