Future Electronics: rapid development platform for thermal imaging and IR sensing

Future Electronics introduced an Arduino-compatible development board which implements contactless temperature measurement and far-field thermal imaging at a resolution of 32x24 pixels. The board may be used as a platform for the rapid development of various new smart system and IoT applications.

The development platform is based on an Arduino-compatible thermal imaging shield. This shield board features the MLX90640, an infrared sensor from Melexis which has a 32x24 array of IR photodetector pixels. The board also includes a Panasonic PaPIR pyroelectric infrared sensor.

The outputs from the thermal imaging board are provided via an I2C interface to an edge computing board featuring an i.MX RT crossover processor from NXP Semiconductors. The i.MX RT1050 or RT1060 runs driver software for the MLX90640 and PaPIR sensors as well as for a 4.3” LCD colour monitor from Tianma.

With the edge computing board, Future Electronics also supplies sample application code for thermal imaging. The readily scalable system is based on the popular Arm MBED operating system, which supports connectivity, security and real-time control functions. The powerful processing capabilities of the i.MX RT1050/60 enable thermal image processing and people detection functions to be performed locally, eliminating the time lag and bandwidth consumption associated with cloud-computing architectures, while enabling operators to guarantee the protection of users’ privacy.

The MLX90640 from Melexis performs contactless temperature measurement over a range from -40 C to 300°C to an accuracy of ±1°C. It is housed in an industry-standard four-lead TO39 package.

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