12-Year-Old Creates $350 Braille Printer With Lego And Open Source Software

Lee Matthews | Geek | February 18, 2014

For those of you who thought baking soda volcanoes made for a pretty sweet science fair project, 12-year-old Shubham Bannerjee’s entry will absolutely blow you away. It’s an actual working braille printer that was built with about $350 worth of Lego that runs on open source software.

Braille printers aren’t exactly cheap. One that can handle standard paper can still cost more than $2,000 today. Shubham’s goal was to create something that was affordable enough that could fit into the average home or classroom budget. Ultimately, he was able to build the BRAIGO with a single Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit and some parts purchased from a local Home Depot.

The BRAIGO isn’t a speed demon. It takes about 5 seconds to output a single character, but that seems like a reasonable sacrifice when you’re talking about a device that costs around 80% less than a retail-boxed braille embosser.