Browse over 10,000 Electronics Projects

IR thermometer hacked into an IR camera

IR thermometer hacked into an IR camera

Using several clever hacking techniques, Niklas Roy can make thermal images using a “simple” thermometer.

True IR (infrared) cameras are still too expensive for many of us, but if you’d just like to know the temperature of something at a distance, IR thermometers aren’t that costly. In theory, if you were to take readings in a grid, color code them, and overlay these readings on an image, you would have a manual IR picture. If you can accomplish this manually, the obvious next step is, why can’t a computer?


Per Roy’s clever hack, yes, this is absolutely possible. His device uses a computer along with an Arduino and two servos to trace a grid with a thermometer. It reads the display at these different points using a webcam, then resolves everything into a nice picture. When overlaid with an actual image, it becomes a low (70 x 44 pixel) resolution thermal image.

You can find out more about this project on Roy’s homepage!