Thermal cameras are expensive stuff as they require special CCDs that work in Infrared (IR) or Near Infrared (NIR) range. They are specialized stuff and cost much more than regular CCD. But there is always a way out when speaking about hobby level. Terence Musho was looking for cheap solution of thermal camera and found on internet (http://www.cheap-thermocam.tk/ ) a starting point. So he started working this towards this direction. The idea is simple – device uses single IR sensor which using pan-tilt motors scans area and then combines all dots in to image. This takes time, but for personal use might be a good way out.
Device is controlled by Arduino which reads sensor data, drives motors and sends data points using serial interface. Computer receives pixels and produces a nice image using gnuplot. Project has one interesting feature – an ultrasonic distance sensor which additionally sends a distance to current point measured. This allows adjusting the end image depending on spot distance.