|Died||July 11, 2013
Emik Avakian (Armenian: Էմիք Աւաքեան) (1923 - July 11, 2013) was an Armenian American inventor and owner of numerous patents including breath-operated computer, a mechanism that facilities putting wheelchairs on automobiles, and a self operating robotic wheel that converts manual wheel chairs into automatic. Many of his inventions were geared towards the improvement of disabled peoples lives and he won many awards recognizing these efforts.
Of Armenian descent, Emik Avakian was born in Tabriz, Persia in 1924. Avakian was born with a severe case of cerebral palsy, but this did not affect his cognitive abilities. In order to seek medical assistance for Emik, the Avakian family traveled from Persia, to Russia, to Germany, and finally settling in New York City. By the age of thirteen, Emik was already fixing many electrical engineering problems around the household. Although he suffered considerably, Avakian managed to graduate and attained a Magna Cum Laude degree in physics and mathematics from Eureka College. He continued his education at Columbia University and graduated with a M.A. degree. Throughout his years as a student, Avakian had trouble communicating with typists who would write down notes for him.
In order to overcome many of the difficulties he experienced in life, Avakian created a series of inventions. One of his more notable inventions was a typewriter that would produce letter from breath rather than typing. The typewriter would operate according to breath measurement and sound that would be blown into four microphones. Although the mechanism was slow, it was still more cost effective to use the device than to hire an assisting type writer.
Another significant invention was the information retrieval and storage apparatus which was a machine that can display library and archive information more quickly than other methods.
- In 1961, President of the United States John F. Kennedy honored Avakian for his outstanding contributions to handicap employment.
- Eminent Engineer Award (1979)
- Armenian Bicentennial Committee's "Excellence in the Field of Science Award" (1976)
- Shah of Iran Crown Medal (1963)
- Honorary Doctorate Award of Euraka College (1996)
- Information Storage, retrieval, and Handling Apparatus United States Patent no. 3,191,006 filed date: Apr. 3, 1962, issue date: Jun. 22, 1965.
- Energy Projecting and Scanning Apparatus United States Patent no. 3,283,147, filed date: May 9, 1962, issued date: Nov. 1, 1966.
- Apparatus and System for Interconnecting Circuits and Electronic Components United States Patent no. 3,880,486 filed date: Mar. 5, 1973 issued date: Apr. 2, 1975.
- Data Entry Devices United States Patent no. 4,077,036, filed Aug 30, 1976, issued Feb 28, 1978.
- Method of and Apparatus for Motorizing Manually Powered Vehicles United States Patent no. 5,186,269, filed date: Nov 7, 1991, issued date: Feb 16, 1993.
- Drive System for Wheelchairs or the like United States Patent no. 5,427,193, filed date: Apr. 19, 1993, issued date: Jun 27, 1995.
- Vehicle Loading System United States Patent no. 5,242,257, filed date Nov. 8, 1991, issued date: Sep. 7, 1993.
- Flow Control System and Restrictor for use therein United States Patent no. 4,372,304, filed date: Oct 15, 1980, issue date: Feb 8, 1983.
- "Dr. Emik Avakian '48 a reason to invest". Eureka College. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
- Partamian, Stepan (2009). Yes, we have: contributions of American-Armenians to the United States of America. Armenian Arts Fund.
- "Man's Breath Runs Typewriter". Life Magazine 33 (22): 77. Dec 1, 1952. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Top Engineer Triumphs Over His Handicap". Sunday Herald. August 21, 1960. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- The Teke: Tau Kappa Epsilon. 1956. p. 15. Retrieved 5 March 2013. "Fortunately, Emik came of sturdy Armenian stock. His parents had reared their palsied son with much love, but without pity, and had traveled half the world — from Persia, to Russia, to Berlin, to New York — seeking medical help."
- Northrup, Eric (June 1953). "Electronics Wizard". Mechanix Illustrated. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Man's Breath Runs Typewriter". Life Magazine 33 (22): 77. Dec 1, 1952. Retrieved 27 February 2013. "Now he has perfected a typewriter which he can operate by sound of his breath blown into four microphones. It is slow but it is more accurate and much cheaper than hiring typists"
- "Proud Win for a Man with a Will". Life 52 (19). May 1962. ISSN 0024-3019. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Emik Avakian". Employment Security Review (United States Department of Labor, Manpower Administration, Bureau of Employment Security) 29: 33. 1962. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
- "Information Storage, retriebal, and Handling Apparatus". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Energy Project and Scanning Apparatus". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Apparatus and System for Interconnecting Circuits and Electronic Components". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Data Entry Devices". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Method of and apparatus for motorizing manually powered vehicles". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Vehicle Loading System". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
- "Flow control system and restrictor for use therein". Google Patents. Retrieved 27 February 2013.