Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Hardware Hacking Printer Toys Build Technology

12-Year-Old Builds Lego Braille Printer 49

An anonymous reader writes "Shubham Banerjee, a seventh grader in California, has developed a braille printer made from a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 kit and some simple hardware. He calls the science fair project 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.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

12-Year-Old Builds Lego Braille Printer

Comments Filter:
  • Braille Legos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sokoban ( 142301 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @09:25PM (#46263161) Homepage

    So it looks like his device is a braille paper printer (Which is pretty darn cool), but I wonder if something like a smaller version of Legos could be used to make "eraseable" braille type.

    • Re:Braille Legos (Score:4, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:38PM (#46263563)

      There are other printers that can produce "erasable" braille. Some of the most interesting do it with tiny electrical impulses that produce a tactile sensation that is an illusion of dots. This was described in an article [] in last week's Economist. The article pointed out that far fewer people are learning braille today for two reasons: other technologies replace it for many purposes, and, because of better treatment and prevention, there are far fewer blind people today.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      So it looks like his device is a braille paper printer (Which is pretty darn cool), but I wonder if something like a smaller version of Legos could be used to make "eraseable" braille type.

      Pasta sauce?

      I can tell you from the experience of getting Legos on a white shirt, that shit is not erasable.

    • Legos? What's a Legos? []

  • Missing The Point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ltrand ( 933535 ) on Sunday February 16, 2014 @10:36PM (#46263539)
    I have a Thermaltake 5.25" drive bay cup-holder/cigarette lighter. How is it that there is more of a market demand for THAT than a braille printer? Or all of the other useless tech junk out there? I remember sitting next to a blind pastor on a flight. He was trying to use his laptop, but was having some difficulty because of a program error. We just haven't built these awesome "freedom machines" to be really utilized by anyone with handicaps. All the gaming keyboards, mice, and other gee-wiz devices have more of a market to flood with "mee-to" crap, yet not one real piece of assistance tech in all of MicroCenter or NewEgg? Really?

    The real point, and what makes it interesting, is that is was a 12 year-old who built the thing from Lego's and spare junk. He saw a need, and went to fill it. Good on him, that is the point of these science fair projects, make kids think about the world around them and how to solve problems, even simple ones. Hopefully it sets an example as to how we should be thinking about the world; as a place filled with people who have needs and desires. With these types of kits making it into the homes of regular people, I look forward to the engineering boom that could come out of it. I say an arduino, pi, makerbot, and lego mindstorm for every kid. Let their imagination run wild.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Cue passive aggressive racist comments. It wouldn't be /. without them.

  • As a Rube-Goldberg device, I'd like to see a Lego printer that assembled "Braille movable type" using "Letters" made of 2x3 legos with selected dots shaved off.

    Call it the Legotenburg Press.

  • It's a great thing he did, and I hope he can make it something usable for the blind also. There exists screen reader type of braille machines like ones from Seika [], which I've installed for one natively blind person. These can go for thousands of dollars because the mass market doesn't exist. The person I know also utilizes OCR scanners and speech synthesis. The books and newspapers are provided in audio by an organization for the blind.

    I'd guess there isn't much need for paper as the medium, but everything

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor