Indian-origin boy in US invents braille printer using lego set

Written by PTI | New York | Updated: Feb 23 2014, 23:01pm hrs
A 12-year-old Indian-origin boy in the US has designed a low-cost Braille printer using toy construction Lego pieces.

Shubham Banerjee, a seventh-grade student from Santa Clara, California, developed the Braille printer called Braigo, which is short for Braille with Lego.

It was created from the Lego Mindstorms EV3 set, which retails for USD 349. Banerjee also added USD 5-worth of additional materials, so the cost of the finished product amounts to around USD 350.

This makes Braigo much more affordable than other Braille printers, which can retail for more than USD 2,000.

An inexpensive Braille printer could bring affordable, 21st-century computing to millions of people facing visual impairment, Banerjee said.

He will release the design free-of-charge to the online community, 'LiveScience' reported.

"I'll make this Braille printer and make the steps and the programme software open to the Internet, so anyone who has a set can make it," Banerjee said.

The printer is programmed to produce the letters "A" through "Z" in Braille. It takes about seven seconds to print each letter.

In a video uploaded to YouTube, Banerjee demonstrated how to print the letter 'Y', and then showed that it is simple to combine letters to form words, like 'cat'.

"This is so easy even my little sister can do it," he said.

Banerjee also plans to programme Braigo to print the numbers one to 10.

The Lego Group voiced their praise for the project, tweeting: "We're very proud. Impressive work for a great cause!"