Clean Water Invention Series

30 July 2015

Slingshot - Bringing unlimited clean water to the developing world.

Every day, more than 5000 children die from contaminated water. In the fourth instalment of our Clean Water Inventions series, we feature renowned entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen who is combatting this statistic with his vision to bring unlimited clean water to the developing world.

Best known for his Segway mobility device, Robotic Arm and iBot wheelchair inventions, Dean has created the Slingshot, the world’s first water purification system that can turn anything wet – from sewage, to ocean water and even Kamen’s own urine - into purified drinking water.

Here’s how it works: the Slingshot boils the liquid, turning it into vapour (just like the sun does), recondenses the vapour, and turns it back into liquid which has become pure, distilled water – just like rainwater. The low-energy machine can purify up to 300,000 litres of water per year – enough daily drinking water for roughly 3000 people.

The Slingshot evolved from a small, portable machine created to purify enough water supply for a family, into a unit the size of a refrigerator that can purify an entire village’s water supply. Now that’s impressive.

In 2011, Coca-Cola partnered with Dean Kamen’s research organisation DEKA to fund expansion of the Slingshot with a trial of installing 15 units in five schools in Ghana. By the end of 2015, Coca-Cola and DEKA will place between 15,000 and 20,000 units in Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America – delivering more than 500 million litres of safe drinking water around the globe.

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