Commercially-available thermal imaging cameras can be a lot of fun and of course quite useful, however the price tag can make them out of reach unless absolutely necessary. However if you're interested in the technology and don't mind a little bit of work, you can make your own based on the project documented by George Rhoten. His project uses an Arduino to move an IR thermometer using a servo pan/tilt bracket - with the temperature and position data going back to a PC. This runs a Java application that can correlate the temperature and X-Y position data to build up the thermal image of the subject. Although it doesn't work that quickly, it's an interesting project and quite worthwhile, for example:
Furthermore George has published everything required to make your own, so visit his website to get started. And for more, we're on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.
If you're looking to make your own non-contact thermometer and experiment with thermal imaging, check out our Freetronics IRTEMP: module:
It's perfect for contact-less temperature measurement. This is our special version of the industrial infra-red 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.