25 | Founder, Tatum Robotics
During her time working at the Perkins School for the Blind through a co-op program, Samantha Johnson encountered isolated deaf-blind individuals with no communication tools, relying solely on costly interpreting services. To address this, Johnson developed an anthropomorphic robotic hand, Tatum (or Tactile ASL Translational Use Machine), for tactile sign languages—the primary mode of communication for nearly 150 million deaf-blind people globally. Disrupting a field centered on braille and the first independent communication system to incorporate signing culture, Tatum works with a person’s devices to communicate wording from text messages to news articles. Tatum has received $421,000 in funding.
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