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Little Men Who Live in Omnipods.

There's a little Metal Pod Man who lives inside of every Omnipod pump, who dances when you bolus.  

No … seriously.

Over the weekend, I was introduced to the fabulous Metal Pod Man through my Facebook friend, Robert Coombs.  Robert messaged me after seeing last week's post about recycling the carnage of diabetes devices:

"Regarding your recent post about re-purposing diabetes equipment, I thought you'd find one of my discoveries interesting. Did you know that there's a little man inside the OmniPod that dances from side to side while he delivers your insulin? There's a much longer story to this that makes me sound like less of a conspiracy theorist, but here's a photo of the 'pivotal drive engaging member.'"

I had no idea.

Thankfully, he included a photo:

They're almost cute.

And my smile couldn't be contained.  A little, Metal Pod Man?  Inside of each Omnipod?  I emailed Robert immediately and asked if I could share his photos on SUM (a request he thankfully granted, because seriously - this teeny, metal bathroom logo guy cracked me up so much that I couldn't wait to post about it.)  

Metal Pod Man is actually an integral member of the Omnipod mechanics.  According to Robert's notes: "It seems, in fact, that one of the innovative safety mechanisms that prevents a dangerous massive bolus and controls precision insulin delivery is also a very cute design artifact. I'm referring of course to the Pivotal Drive Engaging Member (PDEM), also known as the little man that dances when I get insulin."

He lives here:
Little man who lives in your Omnipod doesn't exactly believe in "open floorplan."

And he's in every pump, dancing while you bolus.  Robert described it to me like this:  "There's actually a very thin wire that runs into one side of his (I'm being a little presumptuous here since it's shaped like the men's room icon) head and out the other. He pivots around a pin that goes through his belly. The wire heats (expands) and cools (contracts) and this makes him dance, or rather, waddle. Each of his arms is in contact with a little wheel that spins one 'click' each time he pivots. That's why you hear the clicking when you bolus. This is actually part of a rather elegant safety mechanism that prevents the device from giving you a deadly bolus if the power control freaks out and gets pegged open."

So there you have it.  The little Metal Pod Man.  Hey Omnipod - how come this little guy isn't your official mascot or something?  He's amazing!

Thank you, Robert, for making me want to crack open every mechanical device in my house to see what kind of gnomes might be living inside.


I tear apart my old OmniPods to recycle the batteries and never noticed that piece looks like a little man until now!

Kerri, I read your blog every morning. The very first thing. My SO is type one, and the insight I gain from you is priceless. On Saturday, my SO started on the Omnipod. His first pump experience in 30+ years of MDI's. Imagine my surprise when I opened your blog, and found it to be about the Omnipod. You touch so many lives, in so many ways. You just cannot imagine. Thank you for everything, always.

I can't believe you took out the patent picture to explain that..Nice :-)

Ahhh, the little working man in the Pod. Grace loved this when her OP rep showed her at camp last summer. She laughed and now she refers to him as Podman. When she hears the clicks of her dose being delivered, she will sometimes quietly look down and say 'Good work Podman.' I find it funny and endearing that there is a little man in her Pod, who also looks out for her :0)


Here's another use for Omnipod parts: I learned that due to FDA requirements when the Pod needs changed, the batteries are still about 90% full. I forget exactly, but I believe there are 3-4 inside each Pod with a retail cost of around $3-5 dollars, each. I have a buddy that learned it's the same battery cyclists use for PowerTaps, so he dumps them all in a bucket and sells them to his friends at a discount.

Interesting. That little dude has been dancing on my triceps for about 6 years now. And thanks for the battery tip for my cycling computers.

I had to take apart one of my old pods to see it in person! I found it!

If it didn't cost me $6000, I'd be tempted to crack open my Minimed to see what's inside.

Like a diabetic Mr. Bill! (oooooh noooooo!)

Absolutely loved this post, Kerri. Great job hitting at this interesting "internal-workings" topic in such an awesome, engaging way. Props. And now I really want an Omnipod just to investigate...

I think we need some samples of the other pumps so we can see who/what is hanging out inside. Hamster in a wheel in the Animas? It's loud enough! ;)

We found out about the "pod man" not too long ago, via a FB group. Now I have little pod men all over my house, including hanging from a magnet on my refrigerator door. My daughter loves it!

I LOVE THIS!! I wonder if someone actually thought of making this man shape - not just because it works, but because it is love in motion ;)
Very cool! I too want to know what is in other pumps :P

I am very excited to read this post--not only to learn of the little man in my Omnipod, but also because ever since going on the pump (about 5 months now), I have always wondered what was in place to prevent a massive insulin dump. Now I know! My CDE could only assure me that something was in place, but this eases my over-active imagination. Thank you!!

wow! you made my sons week! he is so happy to have a friend with him at all times! he has named him "Insy" because he is small and because he delivers insulin to him... very special discovery! thank you!

A friend of mine call our OPs "WonderPod" because they are so much nicer than the other brands, which we've both used. Podman takes that to a whole new level!

This was awesome. I always love reading your blog, but since my daughter uses the pod, it especially made my day.

i just found out abot this little man that lives in my pod.now evey time i take my bolus i say thank you little pod man

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