Based on the AMG8833 Grid-EYE sensor by Panasonic I built a simple thermal camera by hooking up the sensor module to an Arduino Uno (4 wires). Using VirtualPanel as display and control panel it was easy to build a usable camera. Part of the challenge was to make this work on a ATMega328 (Uno, Nano) which has limited memory and processing power. I think I succeeded although the frame rate could be better.
Overview of the camera controls.
For a complete description see: https://github.com/JaapDanielse/AMG8833-Thermal-Camera/wiki/ReferenceAMG8833 Module
The AMG8833 Grid-EYE is a low cost infrared sensor array developed by Panasonic. For use with microcontrollers it is integrated in a module with level shifters and voltage regulator allowing 3 - 5v power and data.
The sensor has only 64 (8x8) pixels, which is not much but enough for experiments, simple to work with and it is cheap. I bought my module from Aliexpress for around $25, - similar modules are available from Sparkfun and Adafruit although a bit more expensive.
The module can be hooked up to an UNO or Nano (just 4 wires) to retrieve the temperature image data.AMG8833 library
Searching in the Arduino IDE library manager I found 3 AMG8833 libraries and chose randomly the Melopero. It has a few quirks but works fine for this project.VirtualPanel
Another of my projects is VirtualPanel. VirtualPanel is designed as a generic UI for use with Arduino IDE programmed microcontrollers to support experimenting and prototyping. There is no need to program anything on the Windows side. Writing only relatively simple Arduino code is all it takes.
So I naturaly chose VirtualPanel to implement this camera. Part of my intend with this project was see if VirtualPanel could cope with this type of data.
With the Melopero temperatureMatrix example as a starting point I was able to create a basic working camera in less than an hour. After reaching this point I spent (to be honest) a multitude of this time in refining and improving.
See the VirtualPanel project page: VirtualPanel which includes a walkthrough.Simple build
I started with a simple hookup to an Uno but later I built a very simple unit with just a (fero) printboard as chassis (no casing) which made it easier to handle. You can probably think of a more robust and even handier construction but this was good enough for me.
You can find the instructions to set things up on GitHub:
Documentation & build instructions:AMG8833-Thermal-Camera/wIkI