Thermal cameras are an interesting tool that can describe the varying temperatues across a small area using colour or other methods, and in some cases the resulting "thermal image" can help define what's located in the area (for example a warm human in a cold area).
If this is of interest, you can make your own version with an Arduino, PC and some basic external hardware and this has been demonstrated by Arduino forum member alina. His system uses two servos that change the direction of a thermal sensor across an area, whose reading is measured at every point and sent back to a PC
The data is then analysed by a python app on the PC and converted into a colour image which is a representation of the heat in the measured area, such as the example below.
Although the process takes time thanks to the speed of servos moving the sensor, it's a fun project and shows what can be possible with an Arduino. For details on this project and links to the required code, login to the Arduino forum. And for more, we're on facebook, twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you're looking to make your own version of a thermal imaging device, consider our Freetronics IRTEMP: module:
It's perfect for contactless temperature measurement. This is our special version of the industrial infrared remote thermometer units with an onboard power supply, communication support and a software library and examples supplied. Very simple to use with an Arduino as we have provided a Getting Started guide and Arduino library. For more information and to order, click here.