Yet Another Innovative, Conscientious US-Indian Pre-teen, Hoisted By Intel For His Economical Braille Printer

Shubham Banerjee with his printerShubham Banerjee the 13 yr old with his modest printer for the visually challenged

Most of us are lucky to be gifted with a pair that visually enriches our life every waking moment. World over there are millions of visually impaired who can only rely on special printed material to enrich their lives. But till date no one has been able to develop a low-cost printer that would enable these visually impaired to print their material costing less, in Braille. And the ones that are around cost a lot leaving many to desist from printing, or rely on limited reading material.

A curious 12 year old boy(whose parents migrated to the US), had a doubt as to how were the Braillle books printed. He was advised to find his own answers! Nevertheless Shubham Banerjee set his mind and googled his curiosity. The findings and the results moved him. There were over 285 million visually challenged all over the world. And they relied on printers that costed a bomb ($2000 or more)! The technological surging world had yet to devise a low-cost printer for them! Shubham, then just 12, decided to see if he could make one.

The Braigo prototypeHe set about building a high-tech printer using his Lego Robotics kit. Using Lego Mindstorms EV3 blocks and other supportive pieces from Home Depot, his prototype was lauded and praised. Last summer he took his innovation a bit further and worked on integrating an Intel Edison chip, into the printer. It earned him a lot of recognition including an invitation to the White House Maker Faire that awards student innovators and entrepreneurs. He was also awarded The Tech Awards 2014 with many many more following suit. No doubt this would have made the technological world sit up and notice the simple device that was built using compassion and love.

In the month of September, Intel invited the now 13 yr old to attend a conference in India and sprang a surprise on him. Mike Bell, an Intel executive announced that his company is raring to invest in Shubham’s company Braigo Labs a hundred thousand dollars! Shubham now plans to make a better prototype with that offer, and is confident that very soon, his innovative printers are going to be sold for a modest $350, far far less than the $2000 costing Braille printers now available in the market. This is a challenge thrown by a young confident teenager at the technological industry, proudly acclaiming, I have a heart and I am not greedy.

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