Dean Kamen is a very impressive guy, he has many honorary degrees from universities around the US. He holds more than 150 patents. His philosophy behind FIRST
is that distinguished scientists should be as famous as movie stars and celebrities.
His wheelchair, the iBot is incredible if you see it in real life. It can climb stairs, rise up on two wheels and go to eye level, yet stay balanced. He got the idea from when he slipped in the shower, and realized that instinct made him balance. This led to the design of Ginger, It. The Segway personal transport, aka "A darned scooter!" Many geeks know his name as he stayed very tightlipped about the new invention he wrought, many famous CEOs called him a genius in the press, and speculation began.
He used the wheelchair everywhere, even when he met the president. At the FIRST regional competitions, he never left the thing, and I've seen him at more than one regional, and for the past two years.When he got up and used the scooter, everyone gasped. He never bothered to walk before in front of the FIRST audience, and everyone thought he really needed it. I guess not a lot of people saw The Today Show.
I met him once. Neat guy. He's quiet, but very smart.