This largely autobiographical film zooms in on Dean Kamen, the irrepressible inventor of the self-balancing battery-powered vehicle Segway. Kamen tells his story on camera, supplemented by news footage, film clips, and commentary. Kamen says he loves machinery and is an inventor at heart. He talks of engineering medical devices and organizing robotics competitions to inspire young people. Kamen explains that he uses sophisticated technology to create solutions that are simple to use. Much of the film revolves around his development of a self-contained water purification machine, named SlingShot, that can work under all conditions in underdeveloped countries. Kamen is introspective at moments—talking of his decision not to have children and how he copes with dyslexia. He also speaks wistfully about wanting a time machine to allow him to accomplish all his goals. The portrayal of Kamen’s high energy and self-described childlike imagination is reminiscent of the late physicist Richard Feynman.
VERDICT SlingShot offers a rare peek into a creative mind solving problems. Highly recommended to anyone interested in technological innovation or water quality.—Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA