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Add IR Thermal Vision to Your Homebrew Projects

by Paul Strauss
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Thermal cameras are pretty nifty devices. They let you see the heat signature of objects by capturing infrared light. There are off-the shelf thermal camera devices like the ones from FLIR, but they’re kind of pricey, and not particularly friendly to hacking into your own projects. Now, you can incorporate a thermal camera into just about any device you can imagine, thanks to this breakout board from Adafruit Industries.

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The Adafruit AMG8833 IR Thermal Camera Breakout provides you with a heat-vision camera that can measure temperatures from 0°C to 80°C (32°F to 176°F), with an accuracy of +- 2.5°C (4.5°F). Its 8×8 array of IR sensors isn’t exactly high resolution, but it’s enough to give you a reasonable approximation of the temperature of objects in front of its lens.

The breakout board is ready to use with any 3-volt or 5-volt microcontroller or computer, and comes with ready to use code and instructtions for use with with Arduino and other 12C compatible controllers, as well as Raspberry Pi systems running Python. The board is available now from Adafruit for just $39.95 (USD).

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I so want to build a set of heat-vision goggles with a pair of these things.

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