Video podcast episode featuring interview with Tatum Robotics founder

This week, we have a special video edition of The Robot Report podcast. This is the video feed from our recent interview with Tatum Robotics founder and CEO, Samantha Johnson. The video features American Sign Language (ASL) translation so that hearing-impaired individuals can also enjoy the content.

Tatum Robotics is building a robotic device shaped like a human hand and arm, that can mimic a human translator for deafblind individuals. Currently, deafblind individuals communicate by touching the hand of their translator. The human translator uses finger spelling and ASL signs to communicate.

Tatum Robotics is building a robotic analog to the human hand, designed to replicate the interaction between a translator and a deafblind user. Ultimately, Tatum Robotics wants to open up the world of ebooks for consumption by deafblind individuals. This will be followed by remote communication (i.e. over the web) between both hearing individuals and deafblind individuals, or even between two deafblind individuals.

As Samantha Johnson discusses in the video, until now, deafblind individuals are often isolated and bored for long periods of time, with no ability to communicate without a translator.

An early prototype of the Tatum Robotics communication robot for deafblind individuals. | Credit: Tatum Robotics

We want to thank the ASL translators on this project: Tymber Marsh and Sean Havas for their amazing translation skills. Tatum Robotics is currently recruiting additional ASL signers to contribute their unique ASL techniques to the robot design. If you are interested, contact Tatum Robotics directly for how you can contribute.

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