7th Grader Creates Braille Printer with Legos

January 28th, 2015 by Rebecca Norman

For a science fair project, California 7th grader Shubham Banerjee developed an alternative to expensive braille printers with a Lego kit and hardware from Home Depot.

Currently, braille printers can cost upwards of $2,000. The units emboss tactile Braille characters onto the page for the blind. Using a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit and hardware from Home Depot, Banerjee created and reworked it with new software and hardware enhancements to print out letters in braille.

The resulting product, Braigo, uses a controller to scroll through the alphabet and allows users to choose letters to be printed out with tactile bumps on a roll of calculator paper. A thumbtack serves as the print head for the device. Braigo has been shown to operate effectively, although improvements continue to be made.

Banerjee has said his long-term vision for Braigo is to make it all open-source so that people anywhere, including developing countries can create their own and advance the software to extend its capabilities.

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