Have you ever watched a sci-fi or action movie, where the characters move into a pitch black room and switch on their thermal vision? Or have you ever played Metroid Prime and remember the thermal visor that the main character got?
Well I have done both of those things and think its rather neat. Visible light is an excellent way for us to utilize our eyes to see the world around us, but there are some shortcomings of our current evolutionary iteration of a lens eyeball, namely that it doesnt work without visible light having been introduced to our system. It can also reflect weird and distort the image captured by it.
Thermal cameras dont have these problems, they detect the infrared wavelengths of light that are naturally emitted by any warm body. This means they work in the dark, and they dont really reflect off of surfaces so much as visible light wavelengths do. This makes them handy to use in the absence of a visible light source to detect warm bodies, as well as it can be used to more accurately track the kinematics of a warm body in motion more accurately than a conventional camera.
We decided to make a thermal camera because we thought it would be a neat expansion on turning IR input into a visual representation. We ended up utilizing a small array of IR sensors called a Grid Eye AMG8833 and a small computer called a Raspberry Pi that is capable of expanding the only 8x8 input of the AMG8833 to an output of 32x32, which provides a decent resolution to the image the screen produces.
This is our instructable to make a little thermal camera, use this to impress your friends or dominate in some kind of indoor game played in the dark, although you will have to find a portable power supply sufficient to run the Pi on.”