Shubham Banerjee has played with Legos ever since he was two. So it was only natural that when he created a new invention, he used Legos to build it. But what did he invent?
Shubham was twelve when he saw a flyer asking for money to help blind people. Curious about one thing, he asked his parents: How do blind people read? Look it up, they said. Shubham did and found that blind people use Braille - a system of writing that uses raised dots on paper to stand for letters. Shubham was shocked to find that Braille printers often cost $2000 or more. He felt sure that he could make a printer for much less. Using a $350 Lego Mindstorms EV3 robotics kit and a few parts from a local hardware store, Shubham worked for over 3 months, creating a small portable Braille printer. He named it Braigo (Braille+Lego), and displayed it at his school’s science fair. Soon people started noticing the new invention. Shubham received several awards and was even invited to the White House to show Braigo at the Maker Faire!
Shubham decided to begin a company (named Braigo Labs) with a $35,000 investment from his father, and began work on a better Braille printer. The company Shubham’s father works for, Intel, was so impressed with Shubham’s invention that they invested several hundred thousand dollars in Braigo. Though Braigo Labs is doing well, Shubham does not plan to stay there long - he hopes to go to college and become a medical engineer. Who knows what else he might achieve!
Kollin Bailey, 6, decided to go to a friend’s house to play one sunny afternoon this past December. Kollin, who lives in Herriman, Utah, first told his aunt, who was babysitting him, and then went to play. But his friend was too busy to come outside. So Kollin got his kite, jumped on his bike, and went to play by himself. That’s when his troubles began. As he ran with his kite, he tripped and fell - 9 feet into an open manhole! He blacked out for a few minutes, and when he woke up he found himself in the cold, dark hole. Kollin screamed for help, but he was far from any houses and no one could hear him. Hours seemed to go by. Would anyone ever find him?
Kollin’s aunt was frantic when he didn’t come back. She called Kollin’s mother, who called the police. Neighbors also began searching for Kollin. Finally someone found something - Kollin’s bike lying on the grass. A K-9 team was called in, and police officer Shane Matheson arrived with Copper, a six-year-old bloodhound. Copper sniffed the bike and set off after Kollin. Twenty minutes later, Copper discovered Kollin in the manhole and an officer climbed in and lifted Kollin out. His family took him to the hospital, where he was treated for a broken arm.
The next day, Kollin met Shane and Copper again - this time to say, "Thanks!" Kollin’s mom and dad were also very thankful to have their son home safe again!