Disabled people around the world are expected to benefit with the announcement in America today of a new high-tech
self-balancing people mover which mimics the human body's ability to balance itself. Maree Howard reports.
For more than 12 months speculation has been rife that a new break-through invention will allow severely disabled people
to negotiate stairs and uneven surfaces in an upright position rather than by wheelchair.
The ABC U.S. television network is expected to air a segment on the invention, so-far called 'IT', on Good Morning
America today. It has also been running a guess-the-identity contest which, until now, it has called Ginger.
Time Magazine and the New York Times are also gearing up to publicise the announcement.
Further speculation arose around three months ago when Dean Kamen, the inventor of the device, filed for patents
revolving primarily around methods for making a personal mobility vehicle that could carry people up stairs and over
other irregular surfaces.
Kamen won the 2000 National Medal for Technology and he is founder of the New-Hampshire-based company he called DEKA
Research and Development.
Details about the device have been scarce ever since rumors about the device began grabbing public attention over a year
Speculation has now been fuelled by the ABC television segment, that the device is expected to be called "Segway", takes
10 minutes to assemble, has a price tag of less than $2,000 and will debut on the market early next year.
It is said to have cost more than $100 million to develop.
Kamen's comapny DEKA research focuses on inventions mainly in the medical field. The company designed the Home Choice
portable dialysis machine marketed by Baxter's and well as balloon stents for unblocking arteries that are marketed by
Johnson & Johnson.