Shubham Banerjee, a seventh grader in Santa Clara, California, invented a Lego Mindstorms-based Braille printer called the Braigo. He's declared his intention to release his printer -- which costs about $350, much less than traditional $2000+ Braille printers -- as open source hardware so that it can be improved by a wider developer community.
According to WHO reports, there are estimated 285 million visually impaired people worldwide and 90% of which lives in developing countries. At this moment the cost of a brail printer is more than $2000 for a basic version, thus for many millions of people across the world have limited access. This project uses the Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit costing $349 and some add-ons from Home-depot costing another $5 to prove that its feasible to make a brail printer for education purposes and schools that’s much cheaper. The project uses the base reference model known as Banner Print3r and was redesigned with totally new software to print letters A-Z. The project is named as BRAIGO v1.0 in short for Brail with LEGO. There are endless possibilities to add enhancements in software to make BRAIGO do a lot more. The student wishes to make this project open source, with the design and software readily available for public consumption free of charge. Thus giving a new tool in the hands of blind institutions or even parents with visually impaired children to use this printer at a 80% savings from commercially available products out there in the market.
Background: Shubham Banerjee was born in Hasselt, Belgium to Indian parents. He moved to San Jose, California when he was 3 years old. Later he moved to Santa Clara, Claifornia and completed his elementary schooling at Don Callejon School. He joined Magnolia Science Academy in Santa Clara in middle school for couple of months , before moving to Champion School in San Jose where is continuing his 7th grade. He continues to reside in Santa Clara, California.