Tactile ASL Translational User MechanismSamantha Johnson is a bioengineering student at Northeastern. She created the Tactile ASL Translational User Mechanism (TATUM) – a robotic arm – to help deaf-blind people communicate without an interpreter. While deaf people can communicate using ASL visually, deaf-blind people need to touch the signs; this requires an interpreter to be present to sign what others are saying because most people don't know how to sign. In the future, TATUM could allow the deaf-blind community the ability to speak privately; this could be helpful in settings like doctor's offices.
"When I was watching the interpreter sign, I asked, 'How do you communicate without the interpreter?'" and the answer was simply, "'We don't,'" Johnson recalls.
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"THIS ROBOT USES TACTILE SIGN LANGUAGE TO HELP DEAF-BLIND PEOPLE COMMUNICATE INDEPENDENTLY"