This 3D-printed sign language robot can translate speech on the fly

Guy Fierens, Stijn Huys and Jasper Slaets realized that finding sign-language interpreters in Belgium – or anywhere, really, was wildly difficult. Their solution? A 3D-printed hand that recreates sign language automatically. Called Project Aslan (Antwerp’s Sign Language Actuating Node), the hand is available for printing and you can also have it printed for you by 3DHubs.

“Thanks to the innovative design, the Aslan robot remains affordable, without losing any quality. By using the 3D printing technology, modifications can be done easily and new design features can be added,” wrote the team.

The system “learns” sign language and updates to the language automatically and will translate text directly into sign language, spelling things out that it can’t sign. The system consists of a single hand right now but will expand to two arms and even a face and shoulders to add a little more interactivity. It’s amazingly clever and very cool, even if the project is in its relative infancy.

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