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13-year-old floats firm to sell low cost Braille printer

Washington, Jan 20 (IANS) Thirteen-year-old Indian-American Shubham Banerjee from Santa Clara, California, who developed a low cost Braille printer called Braigo using the Lego robotics kit last year, has opened a full-fledged company to develop the machines for the masses.

Banerjee’s start-up Braigo Labs has got funding from Intel Corporation, among others, said his website.

The invention was featured at the first ever “White House Maker Faire” in June last year to “celebrate a nation of makers and help empower America’s students and entrepreneurs to invent the future”.

Banerjee was invited to the White House for developing an accessible solution for blind and disadvantaged people across the globe.

“Technology should help us to make our life easier and not become a burden due to high cost,” Banerjee posted on his website.

“Our mission is to bring ‘Humanely Optimised’ technologies that are innovative, affordable, simple and catering to solving life’s problems,” he added.

Born in Hasselt, Belgium, Banerjee has formed Braigo Labs in Palo Alto and plans to start selling a more durable version of the printer.

The eighth-grader from Champion School in San Jose, California, wants to finally develop a desktop Braille printer that brings the cost down to $350 from the current $2000 for education, teaching and home use purposes.

Banerjee came up with the idea of integrating his love of Lego and willingness to find an alternative way to help the visually impaired.

It resulted in the invention of an open source cost-reduced “DIY braille printer”.

He called it “Braigo v1.0” as a proof of concept to show everyone that we can do better to help the people in need.

Currently, the company is working on different innovative ideas to bring to market alternative solutions to costly products currently available starting with braille printing/embossing technology.

The feat has also earned him a place on the 2014 “Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 Under 40” list.

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