Dean Kamen is a globally renowned inventor with more than 400 patents, including the Segway, the insulin pump and the robotic prosthetic “Luke Arm.” This fall, the billionaire bachelor will play the role of investigator — leaving his private island to jet around the world in search of the technologies of tomorrow. In the world premiere original series DEAN OF INVENTION, Planet Green joins Kamen on his quest to find the next scientific breakthroughs that will improve life for all mankind. DEAN OF INVENTION airs in Planet Green’s VERGE primetime block at 10:00 PM (ET) beginning on Friday, October 22.
DEAN OF INVENTION follows Kamen and correspondent Joanne Colan as they explore the emerging technologies being developed to tackle the most daunting global challenges of today. In each episode, Kamen and Colan encounter the world’s latest cutting-edge creations by embedding themselves with leading scientists, doctors and inventors. From space-age robotics to artificial intelligence to biological breakthroughs, DEAN OF INVENTION reveals the visionary scientific advancements that have the ability to reinvent the future.
“Planet Green celebrates the innovators and visionaries who have the genius and passion necessary to change the world — and Dean Kamen epitomizes both these qualities,” said Laura Michalchyshyn, president and general manager of Planet Green, Discovery Health, FitTV and TreeHugger. “DEAN OF INVENTION will provide viewers with a revealing look at the greatest inventor of our time as he continues his amazing personal crusade to make the world a better place through game-changing technological breakthroughs.”
In DEAN OF INVENTION, Kamen and Colan will separate the science fiction from the true game-changers. Areas of exploration include the following:
Meet the Microbots
Series World Premiere: Friday, October 22, at 10PM (ET)
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans die on the operating table or in recovery from surgery. Surgeons are among the most intelligent people on the planet, but the reality is that the tools they use are large and crude. Medical instruments are more often suited for cutting and tearing than healing and mending, especially when it comes to the most delicate areas of the body — the heart, the brain and the eyes. But what if we had tools that were molecular in size? Could we develop a medical technology that would let us repair the body at the cellular level? DEAN OF INVENTION explores a new age of medicine that is upon us, an era of tiny robots with enormous power, including “nanobots” that are able to enter the bloodstream, find cancerous cells without anyone’s guidance and kill them. No surgeon, no surgery, no cancer. Exactly what it might mean no one knows for sure. But one thing is certain: Medicine as we know it is about to change irrevocably.
Building the Bionic Body
World Premiere: Friday, October 22, at 10:30 PM (ET)
Now more than ever, there is a great need for limb replacement. More than a thousand soldiers have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan missing an arm or a leg — a higher percentage’ than in any previous conflict. And every year 100,000 diabetics in this country suffer the same amputations. But new advancements in prosthetics are changing the definition of what it means to be disabled. DEAN OF INVENTION asks, are we entering an era of bionic humans, when disabled people become hyper-abled?
Premiere Date: TBD
You’re the victim of an earthquake, buried under tons of shattered concrete and rubble. Who will find you — and how? You’re an American soldier, trudging for days in a hostile environment carrying more than a hundred pounds of gear. How can you be ready to fight for your life when you’re serving as your own pack mule? DEAN OF INVENTION provides the answer: robots. After years of being relegated to characters in fantasy and science fiction, robots are finally becoming crucial players in solving reallife problems. The twist is that they won’t be our peers. They’ll last longer. They’ll be stronger. And they’ll meet challenges human beings simply can’t.
BCI: The Mind Unchained
Premiere Date: TBD
Scientists are working to project human consciousness into the infinite virtual realm of the Internet. Can we give speech back to people rendered mute by illness or trauma? Will it be possible to link our minds directly to vehicles, from cars to fighter jets, or restore bodily freedom to those who are shackled inside paralyzed bodies? Someday, will we be able to send data from computers back into the brain, giving people a wealth of abilities still unfathomable to humans? In this episode, DEAN OF INVENTION explores brain-computer interface (BCI), whereby the intentions and desires of the human mind can be read — and translated into action. BCI has the potential to unlock vast new potential powers for humankind.
Premiere Date: TBD
After a century of dependence on fossil fuel, the flexibility and power of electric technology can open the door to revolutionary new ways of living and moving — mobility on demand. Electric cars are quickly evolving into cutting-edge and sexy next-generation realities that include cars that fold in half and even drive themselves. Innovative engineers and builders are ready to redesign not just what we drive, but how we live, because one thing is for sure: Right after freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, Americans prize freedom of movement. DEAN OF INVENTION explores what it takes for Americans to find a way to make the needs of tomorrow fit with our need for mobility.
DEAN OF INVENTION is an eight-episode series produced for Planet Green by @radical.media. Jon Kamen, Robert Friedman, Justin Wilkes and Sidney Beaumont are executive producers, and Dave Snyder is director/supervising producer. Executive producers for Planet Green are Rachel Smith and Jeff Hasler.
About Planet Green:
Planet Green is the multiplatform media destination for people looking for something new. Launched on June 4, 2008, Planet Green is following the evolving conversation about sustainability and is the entertainment brand that champions the visionaries who move our world forward in small and large ways. cptfc Planet Green and its two robust Web sites, planetgreen.com and TreeHugger.com, offer unique, insightful and inspiring content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green’s original programming, digital tools and content will entertain, educate and activate.