Shubham Banerjee, a California seventh grader, is one of those kids whose heart and mind extend well beyond his own life and into the the wider world beyond. For a science fair project, he contemplated the issue of braille printers, which can cost upwards of $2,000, and decided there must be a better way.
The better way he came up with involved the clever use of a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit along with a few bucks worth of hardware from Home Depot. He took a basic, preexisting pattern for a printer and reworked it with new software and hardware enhancements to print out letters in braille. The result is called the Braigo.
The Braigo’s controller is set up to scroll through the alphabet. You choose a letter and it prints it out with tactile bumps on a roll of calculator paper. The print head is actually a thumbtack, which Banerjee settled on after also testing a small drill bit and a mechanical pencil.
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.
Give this dude a scholarship and help him develop this. This is awesome!