When Aiden was seven, he says, he dreamed of being a baseball player. Now he's 12, and in an entirely different kind of competition. Aiden and his teammates are part of FIRST, an organization that Kamen created 25 years ago to attract young people to science by offering them the opportunity to compete with robots of their own designs.
"This has really shown me how cool would engineering be if I were to go into that field," Hughes told Moriarty.
"The average kid on the street can tell you the names of a dozen football players or basketball players or Hollywood stars," said Kamen. "None of them can tell you the name of any famous living scientist or engineer."
To date, more than a million kids from more than 80 countries have participated in FIRST competitions. Just last week, a live international webcast kicked off this year's competition.
Kamen, who never married or had children of his own, sees these budding scientists as his legacy, passing on to them not just a love of technology, but a lesson he learned from his own grandfather:
"'You give until it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, you didn't give enough,'" recalled Kamen. "So I said to my grandfather, 'All right, I will give more than I take.' But I've taken a lot. So if can work on water for the world, if I can work on medical products to make the world a better place, then I don't have to feel guilty being in this giant playground called the universe, doing all sorts of cool, fun stuff."
- Bionic DEKA Arm, mind-controlled prosthetic, approved by FDA (CBS News, 05/12/14)
- The Pentagon's bionic arm ("60 Minutes," 04/10/09)
- The next big thing ("60 Minutes," 12/12/12)
- Segway Inventor Dean Kamen: Science isn't a spectator sport (CMS Wire, 01/06/15)
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