California teen builds prototype for Braille printer with Legos

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Thursday, January 22, 2015
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A California middle school student designed a new and cheaper way to print in Braille, and he built it with Legos.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Silicon Valley teenager is proving it's never too early to become an entrepreneur.

Shubham Banerjee of Santa Clara asked his parents how blind people read, and when they told him to Google it, he became fascinated with Braille.

But he couldn't believe that Braille printers cost $2,000 or more. Set out to change things, the eighth grader built a Braille printer with a Lego robotics kit as a school science fair project last year.

He launched a company to develop low-cost machines to print Braille. Intel was so impressed with Shubham's lego printer, the company invested in his startup.

"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," said Edward Ross from Intel.

Shubham's updated model has more traditional computer parts -- no more legos needed.

The teen's company is called Braigo -- a name that combines Braille and Lego. He hopes to sell the printers for $350.