7th Grader Builds Braille Printer Prototype With Legos

Kids let their imaginations runs wild when they open up a fresh package of Legos, but most of them don't end up spending $350 to build a braille printer.

Twelve-year old Shubham Banerjee of Santa Clara, Calif., built a prototype printer using Lego's line of EV3 Mindstorms robots to help people in developing nations have easier access to a printer.

Upon learning a braille printer can cost more than $2,000, Banerjee did some digging and eventually discovered that with simple modifications, a Mindstorm kit for $350 could be used to design the system.

The printer's robotic arms move a module with a push pin that engraves bumps into regular calculator paper to form letters. Currently the paper holds one letter to fit each line and each letter has to be manually input. A letter is printed on the paper every five to seven seconds.

The printer was originally developed for a science fair project, but has since become a life-long dream of Banerjee to open up a new world of expression and interaction for the blind in developing countries.