Arduino Thermal Camera

My recent arduino project was to build thermal camera on the cheap using an ir sensor and some pan/tilt hardware. If you look at the device picture to the left there is also acoustic range finder mounted to the top.

Arduino Thermal Camera

The device works by sweeping a grid of points and assembles the image piecewise. The output consists of two images: 1) an acoustic images which tells the distance to the objects in view and 2) a thermal image that gives the temperature of the objects in view. I use gnuplot to assemble the images. See the scripts below.

I plan on using the range finder to determine the spot size of the IR reader. The spot size scales by dh_o/dL=2sin(5). Where dh_o is the change in spot diameter and dL is the change in distance from the sensor to the object. The five is a constant based on the 5degree viewing angle of the IR sensor.

I got the idea for the project from this site:


Assembly progression:

  1. Assemble Pan/Tilt with servos. Use medium servos because small was a little too under torqued for the tilt action (notice jerkyness in video). The servos require 5V.
  2. Attached the Ultrasonic transducer to a proto board by putting a wire through holes and soldering on both sides. (holes should align on both boards) Position the ultrasonic sensor in the middle of the main board so the ir sensor will align with the center of the ultrasonic sensor.
  3. Attached laser mount to Pan/Tilt hardware such that the two right angle mounting holes are on the top side to connect the board. I used the left over screws from the servo to connect the laser mount. I drilled a hole first that was slightly smaller than the screw thread diameter.

Arduino Thermal Camera circuit

  1. Push laser into laser mount all the way. Stop and mess with the laser and simple servo application.
  2. Now run a 3V power line and GND line leaving some extra wire to play with. The ultrasonic transducer can take 3V or 5V (5V better resolution). The IR sensor can only take 3V. My build just uses 3V for both the ir and sonar.
  3. Now put the ir senor in carefully and just solder the leads don’t trim. Next run your 4.7K ohm resistors from the power to the opposite side of board above the ir sensor.
  4. Now form the interconnects on the board.
  5. Add three wires to go from board to arduino. There is one for the ultrasound sensor and two for the ir sensor.
  6. Mount the sensor to the laser mount. Use the holes provided on the laser mount. I also used the extra screws from the servos and drilled out the matching holes on the sensor board. It is critical that everything is square.
  7. Connection the laser wires to the 3V power (red wire) and GND (white).

Major Components in Project

List of materials:

For more detail: Arduino Thermal Camera

This Post / Project can also be found using search terms:

  • Arduino Thermal Camera
  • arduino camera project
  • thermal scanning with arduino
  • arduino imager
Clip to Evernote

Leave a Comment

(Spamcheck Enabled)

Read previous post:
Arduino MP3 Player
Arduino MP3 Player

I present this new Arduino project: A full MP3 player based on Arduino. As you can see in the photo, the idea...

Scroll to top