A thirteen year old California schoolboy has invented a low cost braille printer using components sourced from his toybox. Shubham Banerjee learned that current braille printers were not only cumbersome – weighing in at a hefty 9kg – but also cost some £1,300. Armed with this knowledge he adopted the classic inventor’s mindset – “There’s got to be a better way to do that!”
As part of a school science project he set about designing a low cost solution and utilised his 'Lego Mindstorms EV3' kit to make the prototype. After lots of late night tinkering at the kitchen table Braigo (Braille + Lego) was born.
This invention prototype (now patented) was so impressive that it’s even caught the attention of the massive computer giant Intel, who have invested in his fledgling company (run by his mother – Shubham is too young!). The product is to be refined over the summer and expected to be available to consumers by the end of the year with an expected retail cost of a mere £200.
Edward Ross, director of inventor platforms at Intel remarked: “He’s solving a real problem, and he wants to go off and disrupt an existing industry. And that’s really what it’s all about.”
Shubham’s example shows that it still really is possible to invent from home. The secret is to spot the problem to solve in the first place.