Grid-EYE Breakout Board is a $49 Low Resolution Thermal Camera Module

Thermal cameras can be really expensive pieces of equipment, and even the cheap 60×60 thermal cameras available on Aliexpress costs a little over $200. However, PURE Engineering has made an breakout board with Panasonic Grid-EYE infrared 8×8 array sensor that allows you to experiment with the technology, or integrate into your own projects for just $49.

Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

Grid-EYE breakout board features:

  • Panasonic Grid-EYE AMG8834 64 pixel infrared / thermal camera sensor with 60 degree viewing angle using MEMS thermopile technology
  • Pinout compatible with Arduino Zero,  ST-NUCLEO board, and other 3.3V boards with I2C, VDD, GND, INT, and AD pins
  • PUREModules PCB edge connectors with UART, GPIO, to interface with the company’s IoT board
  • Power Supply – On-board regulator handles 3 to 5V input

The Panasonic sensor transfers thermal presence, direction, and temperature values over I2C. The company wrote a demo for the module with an Arduino sketech and a Processing sketch both available on github, and you can see it in action in the video below using an ice pack and a hot coffee mug.

Applications listed by Panasonic for this sensor include digital signage, security, lighting control, kiosk/ATM, medical imaging, automatic doors, thermal mapping, people counting, robotics, and others.

The board is now listed on GroupGets for $49, and 100 boards need to be sold for the group buying campaign to be successful. More details may be available on the product’s page on Pure Engineering website. Alternatively, you could also get AMG8834EK Grid-EYE evaluation kit with the IR camera, an Atmel SAMD21G18A MCU, and Bluetooth Smart connectivity for about $95 on Newark or 48.99 GPB (~$61) on Farnell UK.

[Update: PUREmodules modular system has been launched a kickstarter campaign, but it does not seem to include the thermal camera]

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10 Replies to “Grid-EYE Breakout Board is a $49 Low Resolution Thermal Camera Module”

  1. For $20 extra (or less since you can get free shipping for it) you can buy the AMG8834EK evaluation kit which includes the sensor, an ATMEL ATSAMD21G18 ARM Cortex M0+ micro (same as in Arduino Zero board), full Arduino pinouts AND a Nordic nRF51822 Bluetooth LE module including sample mobile apps.

  2. Does this module include IR optics? Youtube demo was clearly shot with optics, but looking at the photo of module itself, it is not clear if that is included.

  3. @JM
    Good point. I’ll add that to the article soon.

    @Jan de Boer
    I guess the board with Panasonic module is what you’d get. I imagine it’s just the size of a smartphone’s camera, but uses IR instead, and you don’t need extra hardware. It’s all embedded in the module.

  4. It was shot as is, no added optics.
    Also true you can get the other evaluation board, but all the pins are forced to the micro. If you want to integrate the sensor into your system this breakout is a better choice. Also for playing with the sensor with the Arduino environment, this is better as well.

  5. Thanks, dude!!!!!! I’m an electronic student interested in thermal imaging. I thought to do my project with a thermal imaging technique, but am unaware of the module used in the thermal imaging cameras. Your article gave me a complete guidance about it. Thankkk youuu…

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