Californian seventh grader creates a working braille printer for only $350.
Aspiring young talent Shubham Banerjee and his recent science fair project demonstrate that this 12-year-old California seventh grader is destined for great things. He designed a low-cost braille printer using a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit and a few bucks worth of hardware from Home Depot. The result is a fully functioning system that is comparable to current market models, but at a fraction of the cost.
The BRAIGO v1.0 includes a base reference model known as Banner Print3R and new software to print letters A-Z. Several trial and errors were made before Banerjee could get one to successfully print out letters in braille.
Because the print head is actually a thumbtack, Braigo’s controller scrolls through the alphabet, puncturing letters on a roll of calculator paper with tactile bumps.
According to CNET, “The first prototype isn’t terribly fast, but it proves the concept works. Banerjee is working on improvements that will allow it to print full pages of text.”
Banerjee is not limiting his creation to anyone, as he intends to make it all open-source so people can improve on his designs, or create their own Braigos at home. Braigo could be an extremely useful tool for the disadvantaged, namely in developing nations where braille printers are too expensive to purchase for home use.
The younger designer is still smoothing out the edges of his project. To follow his project updates, or simply acquire more information about Braigo, you can visit its Facebook page.
You can also check out in the video below.
Image: Shubham Banerjee