Heat-Vision Arduino Camera!

In this project we’ll show you how to build simple a thermal camera. This mini thermal camera can sense the surface temperature of things and display them as a colorful heatmap. Temperatures are rendered in real-time and displayed as different colors to form a heat map.

Fun & Useful Tool

Thermographic cameras can be used for finding hidden problems from heating and cooling issues. They’re a neat tool for doing thermal home inspections and troubleshooting. It’s fun to take it in the garage to reveal embedded electrical systems and looking at automobiles. Maybe make a game out of spotting hidden features.

DIY Thermal Camera

Thermographic Cameras normally have low resolution and the higher performance ones can be quite expensive. The AMG8833 thermal camera sensors are easier to come-by and easy to use with Arduino with the Adafruit Library and demo code.

Enclosure Design

Inspired by the classic Diana Toy Camera, the enclosure features a kawaii aesthetic thats both simplistic and stylish. The IR thermal sensor is secured to the faux lens assembly while the TFT display and micro-controller are secured to the back cover.

IR Thermal Camera Sensor

The Adafruit AMG8833 breakout features an IR thermal camera sensor from Panasonic. It uses an 8x8 array of IR thermal sensors. It's like those fancy thermal cameras, but compact and simple enough for easy integration. When connected to your microcontroller (or raspberry Pi) it will return an array of 64 individual infrared temperature readings over I2C.

Arduino Thermal Camera

To make a cool thermal camera, we can add a small 2.4in TFT display,  500mAh battery and a Feather HUZZAH32. In this project, we're using the demo code included with the Adafruit AMG8833 Library for Arduino. This simple thermal camera displays a range of different colors that represent temperature readings. i.e, hot is red and cold is blue. 

Prerequisite Guides

If your new to electronics and the Adafruit Feather, I suggest you walk through the following guides to get the basics. The Adafruit Feather HUZZAH32 guide will walk you through setting it up with the Arduino IDE. See the AMG8833 IR Thermal Camera guide for more information.

Electronic Components

The HUZZAH32 Feather, IR Thermal Camera breakout and TFT FeatherWing are the main electronic components used in this project.

1 x Thermal Camera
Adafruit AMG8833 IR
1 x Adafruit HUZZAH32
ESP32 Feather Board
1 x TFT FeatherWing
2.4" 320x240 Touchscreen
1 x 500mAh Battery
Lithium Ion Polymer Battery - 3.7v 500mAh
1 x Slide Switch
Breadboard-friendly SPDT

Hardware and Supplies

Just a few screws, stickers and wires. 

6 x M2.5 x .45 x 5mm
Flat Phillips Machine Screws
1 x Pimonoi Super Sticker Selection!
The cuttest, nerdiest stickers!!
1 x 30AWG Wire
Silicone Covered Stranded
1 x Solder Wire
Solder Spool - 1/4 lb SAC305 RoHS lead-free / 0.031" rosin-core - 0.25 lb / 100 g
1 x Heat Shrink Tubing
Multi-Colored Heat Shrink Pack - 3/32" + 1/8" + 3/16" Diameters
1 x Mounting Putty Tack
Loctite Fun-Tak Mounting Putty 2-Ounce

Cool Tools!

These help make the project a smooth building experience. You don't need them all of them, but I recommend them.

1 x Ultimaker 3
3D Printer
1 x Wire Strippers
Hakko Professsional Quality 20-30 AWG Wire Strippers - CSP-30-1
1 x Wire Cutters
Flush diagonal cutters - CHP170
1 x Soldering Iron
Adjustable 30W 110V soldering iron - XY-258 110V
1 x Panavise
Panavise Jr. - PV-201
1 x Helping Third Hands
Helping Third Hand Magnifier W/Magnifying Glass Tool - MZ101

This guide was first published on Jan 17, 2018. It was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

This page (Overview) was last updated on Mar 08, 2024.

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