Fancy building a Raspberry Pi thermal camera? If you do the Raspberry Pi Foundation has you covered and published an article featuring a project by Tom Shaffner, linking a MLX90640 Thermal Camera with a Raspberry Pi 4 mini PC. The project uses the PyPi package pithermalcam and offers a more affordable alternative to thermal cameras currently available to purchase off-the-shelf. The MLX90640 Thermal Camera offers a resolution of 24×32, giving each frame 768 different temperature readings.
“It’s winter, and my heating bill has gone up. I’ve also noticed a draft in certain areas of my house, so I decided it was time to fulfill my long-awaited dream of getting a thermal camera. These have generated some buzz of late as potential Covid temperature detectors, but I was more interested in seeing where there’s an insulation problem in my house that I might fix, or to detect leaks in pipes. Also, fun to play with!
Initially I researched buying or renting such a camera, but the buying options tend to start at $200 for the basic smartphone version, and go up to nearly $1,000. My local Lowe’s has such cameras for rent as well but they cost $50 for 24 hours!
I’ve long been a Raspberry Pi fan so when I saw that rental price I decided to see what options were available for the Pi. I quickly found the MLX90640 camera which costs only $60; at this price I’d get a cool gadget to play with, be able to evaluate my house for leaks, and use it as a security camera when I’m done. Perfect.”
To learn more about the project jump over to the Tom Shaffner Github page.
Source : Raspberry Pi Blog
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