Who is Martine Kempf

Martine Kempf in China
Martine Kempf in China 2013

Martine KEMPF

Martine KEMPF is the CEO of KEMPF Inc. in the US and of KEMPF SAS in Europe.

In 1985 as an astronomy student she invented the Katalavox, a speech recognition control system used to control secondary functions in cars for drivers without the use of their arms.

She taught herself electronics in her spare time with books and magazines and designed a very fast and reliable speech recognition system way ahead of its time.

Her invention was used in cars for disabled drivers, in power wheelchairs for quadriplegics and in surgical microspcopes used by surgeons in operating rooms.

In 1985 she wanted to start her own company in France but the socialist government had nationalized the banks and the government promised her a loan that never materialized, so she left France and came to Silicon Valley to start her business.

In five minutes with five Dollars she started her company in Sunnyvale, CA. Her company thrived adapting surgical microscopes for many hospitals like Mayo Clinic, UCLA, Stanford, Manhattan Eye and Ear and many others.

She also adapted the surgical microscopes of world famous Prof. Svatislav Fyodorov in Moscow, Russia in 1985.

Her company KEMPF was named "Small Business of the Year" by the City of Sunnyvale and the County of Santa Clara in 1990.

She received many awards for her work and many articles and book chapters were published about her.


In 1987 her hometown in France, Dossenheim-Kochersberg, named a street after her: "Rue Martine Kempf". Present at the dedication was the President of the European Parliament, Pierre Pflimlin. She was just 28.


Her immigration to the US was facilitated by President Reagan whom she had given a voice activated toy train for his 73rd birthday in 1984.

Article in People Magazine in 1986:


In the mid-1990 her company in California designed and built many electronic circuits for her father's company in France who was adapting car for drivers with disabilities. She became his biggest supplier, so when he passed away in 2002, she decided to restart his company in France and became the CEO of KEMPF SAS. This company adapts today around 1000 cars per year for drivers wth disabilities.


In 2007 she started KEMPF Inc. in the US to adapt cars for American Veterans and other drivers with different mobility and opened an installation site in Tampa, Florida in February 2008. In January 2011 the Tampa faciity doubled its size.


She hopes to revolutionize the market of hand controls in the US offering digital solutions which respect the safety and comfort of modern automobiles.


Martine Kempf with some inventions and Jean Pierre Kempf
Martine Kempf
Martine Kempf street dedication
Martine Kempf with James Peak VA secretary
Hans Kempf 1997
Martine Kempf in Japan


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“I just wanted to tell you how pleased I am with my DARIOS System. I have not driven in almost two years; after the system was installed, I drove all the way home from Tampa, a distance of over 800 miles, with no problem at all. Everything worked perfectly, and I had no trouble with the driving. What an excellent technological advancement your system is.”

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