Sunday, January 25, 2015

13 Year Old Boy Builds Braille Printer Out of Lego

Hellego! Here is a very cool news story this week, in the innovative city of Silicon Valley, California, a 13 year old boy has built a braille printer out of Lego! This story is very strongly related to my previous post, the First Lego League in Toronto that took place last weekend.

Credit: Braigo Labs
His name is Shubham Banerjee and he has launched his own company to produce low-cost braille printers for the visually impaired. Right now, braille printers cost about 2000$ which is way too expensive for most blind people. Shubham built the braille printer using a Lego Mindstorms EV3 set for his school science fair project. Just like the First Lego League, his is tackling a world problem by fixing it with Lego Mindstorms. Only this time, he is looking to have his idea put on the market. His parents started to get involved and since Shubham is to young to be CEO, his mother decided to take on the job. He has created his own company called Braigo Labs.

His idea is so good, that the big company Intel has recently invested in his project. His end goal is to develop a braille desktop printer that costs around 350$ and weighs just only a few pounds. When he started his company last summer, he started with an initial 35000$ investment from his dad. Since then he has already used some of the money to build a more complex version of his Lego printer using an "off-the-shelf" desktop printer and a new Intel computer chip. This new model, the Braigo 2.0 can translate electronic text into braille.

This is an absolutly amazing project. I highly reccomend you share this project with anybody you can to get the word out. You can visit the Braigo Labs website at

Ontario Students Participate in First Lego League

Hellego! Last weekend, hundreds of Ontario students participated for the First Lego League provincial championships!

The First Lego League introduces kids aged 9 to 14 to the fun of science and technology. Kids build and program their own robots using the Lego Mindstorms technology to create the most innovative solution to a problem. They then place their robots on a themed playing field and develop a solution to the problem presented to them. Some past challenges have been about climate, quality of life for the handicapped, transportation and much more.

The students headed over to Oshawa and the students were able to demonstrate their solutions to fix real world problems affecting their community. The Toronto Star interviewed some of these kids to know what they had to say.

"Mateen Mirzaei, 14
Robot Rulers, Aurora
This is more advanced than the Lego most people know. What drew you to join your school team?
I built robots before the club, but not as advanced as this. You can connect motors to it and sensors and actually program it — like a real robot.
Your team got to speak with a NASA scientist while preparing for the competition. How was that experience?
Amazing. (A NASA robot) is not all that different than this. It proves that it’s possible. They’re just making a robot that’s going to space and it’s more accurate. But ours is a toy. It’s not as accurate as you want it to be. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t."

"Madeleine Kennedy, 12
The Musical Misconceptionists, Toronto
This is your first year with your school’s robotics team. What made you want to join?
There was an open house at our school and I saw the team perform. I’m interested in technology so the robot was really cool. Last year, I think 70 people tried out but only 10 made it.
Your team also made a song to tackle some of the hysteria around Ebola. How did you choose the topic?
We thought Ebola was a serious issue and there were so many misconceptions about it, so we wanted people to make people aware and not afraid. People were saying our music teacher had Ebola. It wasn’t true, and we wanted to end these misconceptions."
Credit: the Toronto Star

The First Lego League is a great way to get kids creative and teach them about science. The kids had lots of fun this past weekend. If you would like to learn more about this competition, you can visit

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New 2015 Lego Bionicle Sets - First Impressions

Hellego! I have been reading the booklet that came with the Lego Magazine that I previously showed you and I have discovered a lot about the re-release of the theme and I really had a strong feeling about it.

I am very happy to see that Lego seems to stay true to the original Bionicle, especially with the Toa. The story is similar, the names and roles are the same and even the overall look of each Toa is very similar to the original versions. The Protectors are what have changed the most. They seem to have a bigger variety of colours and new types of weapons. I think some change is good and I think overall Lego did a very good job! Check out my video commentary where I show you specifically what I mean.

What do you think of the new Bionicle sets? Leave you thoughts in the comments!

First Lego Magazine of 2015! - "Unboxing"

Hellego! I have recieved the first issue of the Lego magazine for 2015! I was pretty surprised because first, Lego is going to stop giving copies of the Lego Club magazine to people over 13 years old. I was also surprised when I saw it because it was inside a plastic protector and had more than one document which does not happen often. I figured since it was the first one of 2015, I might as well show it to you!

In total there were three documents that came with it. The magazine, a Star Wars booklet and a big booklet introducing the return of Bionicle. Check it out!

If this turns out to not be my last issue, would you like me to keep showing you each magazine issue? Let me know in the comments!