M5Stack Launches Pocket-Friendly ESP32-Based M5Stick-T Lite Thermal Camera Development Kit

Combining two of the company's existing designs, the new pocket-sized tool offers live thermal imaging with remote data transfer.

Gareth Halfacree
a month agoSensors / HW101

M5STack has announced a new thermal camera development kit, the M5Stick T-Lite, with integrated display and an on-board Espressif ESP32 microcontroller — and a battery to make the pocket-sized gadget truly portable.

The new thermal imaging development kit follows the launch of the Unit Thermal2 in September last year, which integrated an Espressif ESP32 microcontroller in a compact device with a Melexis MLX90640 far-infrared (FIR) thermal sensor boasting a 32×24 resolution — but lacking an on-device display. The M5Stick T-Lite, by contrast, uses the same microcontroller and thermal sensor but adds a 1.14" 135×240 resolution color TFT display panel and a 160mAh lithium-polymer battery for portable use.

It's not a truly independent design, however: living up to the company's "stack" philosophy, the M5Stick T-Lite isn't a dedicated product but rather the combination of the existing M5StickC-Plus development board and the Unit Thermal, the microcontroller-free predecessor to the Unit Thermal2, connected together and housed in a silicone case to make it all a little more rugged.

The ESP32-PICO-D4 microcontroller at the heart of the device offers two Tensilica Xtensa LX6 cores running at up to 240MHz, 520kB of static RAM, and 4MB of flash storage plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radios. There's a passive buzzer, a digital microphone, and a user-programmable button, plus connectivity for external hardware. M5Stack claims the combined device offers a measurement range of -40-572°F across a 110×75° field of view, and comes with firmware for viewing thermal images locally and remotely.

The M5Stick T-Lite thermal camera kit is now available on the M5Stack store at $79.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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