View Full Version : Two ideas of what "IT" is
06-23-2002, 09:48 PM
Posted by Jason Iannuzzi at 1/12/2001 11:52 AM EST
Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.
A few hours ago I read a few of the IT articles, and I can say I'm mildly excited about the prospect of a civilization-changing device.
I can't say I came up with the two ideas, but in my mind, they both have a fairly good shot at being "IT".
1) Some dramatic improvement in the Stirling Cycle Engine. The consequences of a more efficient ICE that could burn any fuel would certainly be revolutionary. Dean has made many comments lately about his work on the Stirling, and I know DEKA puts a lot of time into this field of research.
2) It's been said on this forum, but I'll reiterate it because there is a bit more evidence to back it up, the Independent/Individual Transportation device.
That is a link to a patent for what is essentially a standing IBot. I fail to see how it would be revolutionary, I think it's more of a rich-man's Razor scooter. Certainly a neat toy, but real world implications are bleak in my book.
Any other guesses?
06-23-2002, 09:48 PM
Posted by Mike Sklar at 1/12/2001 10:47 PM EST
Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT , from Astronaut H.S. and Titusville H.S. and Brevard Community College and Boeing Company and NASA-KSC.
In Reply to: Two ideas of what "IT" is
Posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 1/12/2001 11:52 AM EST:
Perhaps IT stands for Instant Transportation to anywhere. It's a jet pack like the device in Rocketeer the movie. That movie was losely based on Howard Hughes life and Dean Kamen seems nearly as eccentric.
Seriously does anyone have any idea why all the secrecy. If the invention is so truly revolutionary why don't they just market it? There must be some other reason that there is so much secrecy.
06-23-2002, 09:48 PM
Posted by Patrick Dingle at 1/13/2001 9:31 AM EST
Other on team #639, Red B^2, from Ithaca High School and Cornell University.
In Reply to: Another IT idea
Posted by Mike Sklar on 1/12/2001 10:47 PM EST:
I have been following this story pretty closely (as most FIRSTers probably are) -- and I have a few comments of my own.
The media (MSNBC) has announced that they have found a patent application from Dean Kamen and that is where they got the information about the one-person motorized gyro scooter thing. However, like any big inventor, Dean Kamen probably submits many patent applications. I also am under the impression that patent applications are not made public until the patent is accepted. Why the secrecy? Dean is simply waiting for the patent to be accepted before manufacturing it. If he's waiting, the media wouldn't have a copy of the patent yet. Therefore this scooter may have been Dean's idea, but it is not necessarily IT.
In response to your second question, waiting for the patent simply ensures that your company is the only company that can manufacture the product. By waiting this would give Dean's company the exclusive right for 14 years to manufacture IT. However another company could modify the design to a certain extent that it would be considered a different product, and manufacter a similar yet significantly different product.
Personally I am skeptical about the scooter idea. I don't think the market is that great. Sure, lots of people would love to have a product like this, but $2000 is expensive. Second, safety. Now, I know these would be almost impossible to tip over when turned on (unless you are hit by a bus or something). But you would still be riding on pavement, and the wheels can still lose traction with the ground. When this happens, your scooter still stays up, but you don't go the direction you want to go. You go right into a sidewalk, building, car, or truck. Since it is a scooter, you have no protection and bad things happen. If this idea is IT, I think it would be far to unsafe and would be forced off the market. And I think Dean's much smarter than that. Second, I read in some article that it does not release any pollutants into the air. This sounds more like a Kamen-like idea, but I don't think it fits in with the scooter. Finally, Dean would have to sell more of these than the population of the United States to become richer than Bill Gates.
On the other hand, it still would be a great invention, if you could somehow make it very safe. I can picture tons of people zipping around in cities on these ITs. In cities like Boston (big dig!) it can take over an hour just to get from one part of the city to another. This is due to so many cars and not enough road. If everyone used IT's you could get around much much quicker.
: Perhaps IT stands for Instant Transportation to anywhere. It's a jet pack like the device in Rocketeer the movie. That movie was losely based on Howard Hughes life and Dean Kamen seems nearly as eccentric.
: Seriously does anyone have any idea why all the secrecy. If the invention is so truly revolutionary why don't they just market it? There must be some other reason that there is so much secrecy.
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