Thermal Camera Imaging Brought to Your Daily Life, See Things Like Never Before
The DIY-Thermocam is a low-cost, do-it-yourself thermographic camera project intended for everyone that is interested in thermal imaging. The aim of this project is to give private persons, educational institutes or small companies access to a portable and open-source thermal imaging platform that is based on a good thermal imaging industry solution in the form of FLIR’s Lepton thermal imaging sensor. There are various applications for thermographic cameras such as finding heat leaks in the insulation of buildings including windows, the analysis of electric or mechanical components, the detection of persons or animals, the production of electronic components that get hot and a lot more. The DIY-Thermocam is being offered as an easy to assemble kit with 75 single components, allowing you to take advantage of the versatile possibilities of thermal imaging without the need to purchase a commercially available solution that will be closed source and hardware and may cost you much more.
The self-assembly kit of the DIY-Thermocam is currently available for 429 EURO with no extra tax and with free shipping and it contains all the components you need to create your own thermal imager at home. The assembly process takes about 2-4 hours, depending on your speed and experience with the soldering iron. You only need a (basic) soldering iron, a knife, some tape and a screwdriver to make it. The soldering procedure is easy: No SMD components, only big through-hole parts and modules. You will get a nice illustrated assembly guide will lead you through the assembly process.
The self-assembly kit contains:
– 80×60 pixel thermal array sensor (FLIR Lepton)
– Single-point infrared sensor with laser marker
– ARM Cortex M4 microcontroller
– 2500 mAh lithium polymer battery
– 3.2 inch color touch display
– 640×480 pixel visual camera
– Charger & voltage booster
– Thermal array sensor breakout board
– Custom PCB
– Custom laser-cut enclosure out of black acrylic
– 2GB micro SD card
– micro USB cable
– 70 other components like resistors, wires, bolts & nuts, etc.
– Illustrated assembly guide, manual & how-to guides
This is something interesting, though a bit old, yet you might still have missed it – a music video shot entirely with a thermal camera shot last year. The music video of the song My Love by Route 94 featuring Jess Glynne was shot entirely using a FLIR SC8200 – a science-grade thermal imaging camera and the result is great. You can watch the video embedded above and you will most likely be impressed by the level of detail and clarity of the thermal images produced by this thermal imaging camera. Well this is what you can get with a really high-end thermal camera, but be aware that the price range of devices like the FLIR camera used here is way above what a normal person can afford to buy just for fun. If you are interested in a bit more information about the shooting of the video and the use of the thermal camera you can find some extra information here.
Quadcopters, Hexacopters and even Octocopters are the new craze nowadays or in short radio controlled drones as they are getting smarter and easier to pilot. The interesting thing is that for many people it is not about the flying, but the aerial photo and video recording why they are buying these gadgets. If it is for filming or video monitoring then you might be able to replace the standard video camera with a thermal camera and enhance the capabilities of the drone, but the problem is that most thermal imagers are either too big for a quadcopter or too expensive to even consider. The good news is that there is already a compact and affordable solution to add thermal imaging capabilities to your drone. The project is called DroneThermal by Flytron and is a micro thermal camera based on FLIR’s Lepton core – an 80×60 thermal imaging sensor.
DroneThermal is the first micro size and low cost thermal camera for small UAVs and surveillance drones that offers direct analog (PAL/NTSC) output, so you can easily attach it to a standard analog video transmitter. If you add a second video transmitter or a multi channel video switcher to your drone you will be able to have both normal video and thermal image available from your drone transmitted to you on the ground. Although we said affordable, you should be aware that the DroneThermal module with the thermal imager is not that cheap with a price of a bit less than $500 USD, but that is much less than other thermal imaging solutions suitable for drone use.