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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The HUZZAH32 Feather, IR Thermal Camera breakout and TFT FeatherWing are the main electronic components used in this project.
These help make the project a smooth building experience. You don't need them all of them, but I recommend them.