Gunther Cox Robotic Night Vision

Salvius the Robot

Salvius is an open-source humanoid robot built from recycled parts.

Robotic Night Vision


I have been having a lot of people ask me about how I made a night-vision camera for my robot and the answer is surprisingly simple. All you really need is a web-cam and a few inferred LEDs. Ironically the best webcam for doing this is likely going to be the least expensive since cheap web-cams are cheap because they have no filter to stop inferred light from affecting the images that they take. A more expensive camera will have a filter that blocks inferred light so that the pictures look better. Inferred light is invisible to the human eye but many electronic devices are sensitive to its presence. Devices like your TV remote even use it to send communication signals.

You can buy inferred LEDs at any RadioShack for less that two dollars each and you wont need more than eight. A cheap webcam can be as inexpensive as $16.00. Literally all you have to do is connect the LEDs together and power them up with a 9 volt battery. You should put a 5 ohm resistor in series with them just to be safe and you should never power just one LED off of the battery alone or it will burn out. LEDs are designed to run on minimal electricity in the first place. Once you have your LEDs connected together just plug the webcam into a computer and turn out the lights. You should now be able to see the LEDs lit up when you look through the webcam.