By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Braille is a special type of writing system used by the blind, which consists of a specific pattern of raised dots to represent numbers and letters. Machines that can print in braille cost thousands of dollars, but 12-year-old Shubham Banerjee just drove that price down using nothing more than a $350 Lego Mindstorms kit, a creative imagination, and hard work.
When Banerjee discovered how pricey braille printers can be, he spent countless hours on the internet researching how they functioned. After a dedicated 4 weeks of building several Lego prototypes (early working versions) trying to build his own braille printer, Banerjee successfully created a machine that punches tiny braille-like holes in paper. He called the printer “Braigo”, which looks like a combination of “braille” and “Lego”.
According to Banerjee, the printer uses three basic motors to function. One motor pushes a hole-making pin up and down while another moves it left to right. The last one simply feeds paper into the printer, and the result is an affordable braille printer. The creative 12-year-old entered his invention into the local science fair, where it started to get a ton of attention. Heck, the Lego company was so impressed, they gave Banerjee a warm shoutout on Twitter.
Though Banerjee could probably make a lot of money from his design, he offers tutorials on YouTube absolutely free of charge. He’s also planning to release a detailed manual online, which will likewise be free.
Featured image courtesy of Braigo Facebook.