7th Grade Genius Uses LEGO Set To Build Awesome Braille Printer
A 7th grader from Santa Clara made a low-cost braille printer out of his LEGO set for a science fair. And instead of selling his invention, he wants to open-source it to the blind.
What were you doing when you were 12?
Shubham Banerjee, 12, created Braigo (cleverly combining the words "LEGO" and "braille") out of a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit with a few items from a hardware store, according to CNET. Along with reworking some printer software, Banerjee was able to set up all the letters of the alphabet on his braille printer. To use it, you simply type out a letter and it will print out in braille bumps on calculator paper.
In one of the videos he posted on YouTube demonstrating how to use the Braigo, he explains how he wants to make it accessible to everyone. "[I'll make] the program software open to the Internet so anyone who has a set can make it," he says.
He first came up with the idea when his family received a flyer asking for donations for the blind. He asked his parents how do blind people read and from that point learned as much as he could about braille. Banerjee found out that braille printers can be expensive, which N.Y. Daily News reports can cost up to $2,000 for a basic model.
"I thought it would be cool to combine my love for LEGOs and do something good with it," he told NPR.
The 7th grader is looking to improve this model, and keep creating products to help the blind, reported CNN. He hopes one day hopes to have a career as an engineer, surgeon or scientist, according to NPR.
Banjeree gives a demonstration of how his Braigo works in this video: