A California seventh grader looking for a science project decided to tackle the issue of braille printers being too expensive for families with blind children or schools seeking to educate them.
Motivated to help the millions of visually impaired people living in developing countries worldwide, the boy's bright idea for a prototype successfully slashed the cost of such a printer from $2,000 down to $355.
But perhaps the reason Shubham Banerjee has attracted so much attention is because he built the printer mainly using Legos.
With a bit of hardware from Home Depot and a $349 Lego Mindstorms kit, the 12-year-old 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.
Banerjee used a base model that's included with the EV3 set and redesigns with totally new software to print letters A-Z. The project has already sparked endless ideas for enhancements in software to make Braigo do a lot more. These are already being worked on.
Perhaps best of all, the youngster has created the software in Open Source code and made the design readily available for public consumption free of charge, so that anyone can use it and improve it.