Sensors

Indoor-deployed sensor module with computing resources

11th May 2021
Alex Lynn

Pushing the performance envelope with advanced edge-based hardware, Sfera Labs has introduced its latest multi-sensor module. The Exo Sense Pi leverages Raspberry Pi 4 computing capabilities. This compact wall-mount unit features a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor running at up to 1.5GHz, which is way beyond what other sensor modules on the market can deliver.

Available in four different versions, the new module has up to 8GB of RAM and 32GB of eMMC flash memory reserves. Alongside this, it has a wide array of different connectivity options. As well as the Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) wireless interfaces, an RS-485 serial bus and dedicated I/O lines are included.

These enable data transfer across standard protocols (like Modbus, I2C, 1-Wire, Wiegand, etc.) and thereby facilitate system integration. There is a micro USB port for flashing the Raspberry Pi embedded multimedia controller (eMMC) and a microSD card slot for attaching an external flash memory.

The sensor technology encompassed within this module covers temperature, humidity, air quality and light intensity measurement, plus PIR-based motion detection. A microphone is also incorporated for audio processing and voice control purposes. There is scope for other custom sensors to be added as required - such as CO2 monitoring, seismic monitoring (earthquake detection) and vibration measurement.

Fully CE and FCC compliant, Sfera Labs’ Exo Sense Pi is suitable for both residential and commercial implementation. Among the numerous applications that it can be employed in are home/building automation, environmental monitoring, BLE positioning, people counting, room management, asset tracking, alarm reporting and access control.

Other key functionality integrated into the module includes a Microchip ATECC608A secure element chip, a GPIO-controlled LED indicator, a piezoelectric buzzer and a real time clock (RTC) with replaceable back-up battery. Internal temperature sensors allow heat compensation to be undertaken. Running off a standard nine to 28V DC supply, with surge and reverse polarity protection mechanisms also built in, the Exo Sense Pi has an 80x80mm form factor which makes installation in even the most space restricted locations possible.

By tapping into the highly prevalent Raspberry Pi development ecosystem, engineers will be able to use Exo Sense Pi as the basis for creating exciting new sensor-driven edge computing applications. Furthermore, the software libraries relating to this module are all open source and may be freely accessed via Github, thereby helping to accelerate project completion. To support OEM requirements, Sfera Labs can provide custom casing and logo printing services.

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