14-year-old Zorawar Singh shows off the thermographic camera he built, which can be used to test for the fever, a common COVID-19 symptom. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

View Royal teen inspired by pandemic creates thermal camera from scratch

14-year-old plans to make 10 touchless hand sanitizers for schools

Fourteen-year-old Zorawar Singh was stuck at home after lockdown for a couple weeks in March when he had the brilliant idea to build a thermal camera from scratch.

Singh was inspired to use it in his school to test if someone had a fever, a common COVID-19 symptom. The teenager figured out how to build the camera using YouTube tutorials on Raspberry Pi 4, a single small-board computer, and Python, a programming language. After over 100 failed attempts, he finally had a breakthrough.

“It was a lot of research,” said the View Royal teenager. “I spent two hours every day [for four months]. We didn’t want to give up after getting no response. We kept going until it finally worked. It felt great.”

Simply put, a camera no bigger than a pinky fingernail takes several photos within a matter of seconds, analyzes the heat sensors, and updates a screen with the highest detected temperature. The more red means the hotter the subject is, while blue corresponds with a colder temperature. The camera can read temperatures up to 27 feet away.

“He was always ahead in math in his class,” said Aman Singh, his father. “He was diagnosed with autism at three. Everything that he’s learned has been from the internet.”

Zorawar has made countless robotic projects on his own at his View Royal home.

Going forward, he plans to create 10 touchless hand-sanitizer machines which can be powered by USB. His father says what usually could cost $75 to $100 for a single dispenser can be reproduced for $10 to $15 with his son’s ingenuity.

Now, he’s just waiting for a few more pieces to arrive in the mail before he builds and shares them between his old school at Lighthouse Christian Academy and his new school at Esquimalt High School. As he heads into Grade 9, the 14-year-old dreams of becoming a programmer one day.

“I’m not a tech guy,” said Aman. “But seeing the look on his face [when he successfully used the camera] was a wonderful moment.”

READ MORE: UVic students design winning robot

ALSO READ: VIDEO: A B.C. business used robots to bring down concrete walls


@iaaronguillen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

aaron.guillen@goldstreamgazette.com

TechnologyView Royal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

14-year-old Zorawar Singh shows off the thermographic camera he built, which can be used to test for the fever, a common COVID-19 symptom. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

The camera takes many photos every few seconds. The red patches indicate warmer temperatures while blue correlates with colder temperatures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

(Aaron Guillen/News Staff)

Just Posted

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Most Read