Mateo's #IMakeApps story


Name: Mateo Salvatto

Profile: Robotics champion

Role: Co-founder

App: ¡Hablalo!

Country: Argentina


Mateo has been making his own robots since early high school and became a National Robotics League Champion in Argentina. Now, at 19 years old, he is traveling across the country to share his robotics knowledge with school children.

¡Háblalo! is an app to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate more easily. Download ¡Háblalo! on Google Play. 


How did you get into robotics?

I got into robotics in March 2014 at the age of 15, when I first started my specialization in Electronics in ORT Argentina. I started attending the Robotics club meetings when a friend told me about it. I didn’t know what it was, but when I went to the first meeting I fell in love with it. I knew I wanted to become one of them as soon as I saw it, so I started learning from the older students and built my first robot! My favorite part of building them is when you first turn them on. There is no other feeling such as turning on the robot that took you six months to build and watch it move as you told it to!

When and why did you decide to start teaching robotics to others?

I understood the importance of learning robotics when I realized that everything I have achieved was because of Yoda, my first robot. I’m certain it’s very important to learn robotics because of everything it teaches you. It’s not only coding and electronics but also a way of thinking problems through and understanding of the importance of working with others. But the most important thing is that, in vulnerable communities, robotics can drag kids’ attention out of harmful habits and into technology and give them better opportunities. That’s why I’m so certain that robotics is a crucial subject to learn about. 

Why did you create ¡Háblalo!?

My mother is a teacher for deaf people so I grew up around people with this disability. When I finished high school I realized I could use what I had learnt to develop something for them. The passion I put into robotics helped me develop ¡Háblalo!. When I won the international robotics championship at 17, I realized I could use everything I had learned to make great things and that’s when I decided to develop something to help people with disabilities. That’s how ¡Háblalo! was born.

What has been your experience with Android & Google Play?

¡Háblalo! wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Android community and the ease and speed to publish and update your developments in the Play Store. I learned to code apps thanks to the forums of the community and our presence in the Play Store has gotten us to where we are! The possibility of publishing our own product out there for everyone is huge. I love working with apps for Android because of that. I originally published ¡Háblalo! for my friends to use but then people in India, US, Morocco and more started using it. That is the great power and reach of the Android community. 


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