Monday, December 11, 2006

History of the iBOT                                                        

1982 - Dean Kamen founded DEKA, a small group
             of people with a whole lot of innovative ideas.
1995 - DEKA teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to
             develop and market the Independence iBOT
             Mobility System.
          - J & J organized a group to assess the disability
             market and focus on unmet needs.
1996 - J & J conducted market research with people
             with mobility disabilities and healthcare
             professionals to determine opportunities.
1997 - Completed the concept phase for the prototype
             of the iBOT.   (Also the year my daughter was
             born.)
1998 - World headquarters were established in
             Warren, NJ.
1999 - DEKA engineers took the iBOT into their homes
             to simulate real world use.
          - In a controlled environment, the first clinical
             study was completed in which current
             wheelchair users were allowed to compare
             their wheelchair against the iBOT.
June 30, 1999 - The iBOT was introduced on
              Dateline NBC.  (A friend of mine who lives
              in an  earlier time zone called me during the
              broadcast and excitedly told me I had to 
              watch the program that night.  I did, and 
              I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  I
              was thrilled.  This was the beginning 
              of my near obsession to get an iBOT.)
2001 - In-home safety clinical trials were conducted,
             which allowed wheelchair users to replace their
             current chair with the iBOT.
2002 - Completion of the iBOT 3000 Mobility System
             Clinical Trials.
November 20th, 2002 - An FDA advisory panel
              unanimously recommended approval for 
              the iBOT.
August 2003 - Received FDA approval for the 
              iBOT 3000.  (That was a long 4 years  for
              me from when I first heard about the iBOT 
              to approval from the FDA.)                 
2005 - Received FDA approval for the iBOT 4000.
              Johnson & Johnson gave all iBOT 3000 
              users the new iBOT 4000.

Late 2006 - I am unable to wait any longer!  I know with 
time, the price will go down, and they will make improvements.
How long until those changes occur is unknown.  It could be 
5, 10, 20 years.  10 years from now, my daughter is going to 
be grown and out on her own.  In only 4 short years she'll
be a teenager and I'll probably hardly ever see her!  I feel
like I really need to do this now. 

2 comments:

stephanie said...

My children are involved with FIRST, another of Dean Kamen's projects.
http://www.dekaresearch.com/aboutDean.html
(click on the FIRST link) and that is how I first found out about the ibot.

Wheelchair Revolution! said...

Oh, that's really neat! I actually didn't know anything about FIRST until yesterday when I was doing some research for the history of the iBOT. Mr. Kamen is obviously brilliant, but he also seems like a swell guy!