All News | Boards | Chips | Devices | Software | Archive | About | Contact | Subscribe
Follow LinuxGizmos:
Twitter Facebook Pinterest RSS feed
*   get email updates   *

World’s first ESP32 industrial computer has extensive wireless options

Sep 27, 2017 — by Eric Brown 5,050 views

Techbase unveiled a “Moduino” automation controller with an ESP32-WROVER module plus WiFi, BT, and optional LoRa, Sigfox, LTE, Ethernet, and battery power.

Polish embedded firm Techbase was one of the first manufacturers to tap the original Raspberry Pi Compute Module in 2014 with its ModBerry 500 automation controller, and has since updated it to an RPi Compute Module 3 based ModBerry 500 M3. Now, it is introducing the Moduino, which it calls the world’s first ESP32-based industrial computer.

Renders of Moduino X1 and X2
(click image to enlarge)

The Moduino is designed for lightweight IoT gateways with need for extensive wireless options, remote data control and management, and support for sensors. It currently supports temperature and humidity sensors, and will later add support for sensors including accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers.

Available in both a battery-powered Moduino X1 model, and a larger, more expandable Moduino X2, the new product line taps Espressif’s open source ESP32-WROVER, a version of its next-gen ESP32 module. Compared to the WiFi-ready ESP8266 module and similar ESP8285, which adds 1MB SPI flash, the ESP32 offers faster WiFi and adds dual-mode Bluetooth 4.2 with classic and LE (low energy) support. The ESP32 is built on Cadence’s more powerful, 32-bit Tensilica Xtensa LX6, a dual-core MCU with an 80MHz to 240MHz clock rate and 600 DMIPS performance.


Like the ESP8266 and ESP8285, the ESP32 supports either standalone operation, typically using a real-time operating system like FreeRTOS or Zephyr, or configuration as a slave device, for example as a subsystem incorporated into an Arduino board. Techbase says the Moduino can tap any ESP32 compatible OSes and programming environments, and the company specifically mentions ESP-IDF, Zephyr, Arduino, MicroPython, and Mongoose OS.

500 M3

The Moduino controllers can “easily” work remotely with existing ModBerry gateways for data accumulation and monitoring, “to perform specific actions before sending the data to cloud services,” says Techbase. In addition, “the Moduino-ModBerry installation can work as standalone Ecosystem (for example via MQTT), providing fog-computing to any installation,” says the company.

Both the Moduino X1 and X2 clock the ESP32-WROVER’s LX6 chip to 240MHz, and offer 512KB to 4MB pSRAM and 4MB SPI ROM. The controller provides 16Mbps 802.11b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 with BLE. The WiFi signal can be boosted to a 1km range via U.FL antenna connectors.

Wireless options on both models include LoRa (Semtech SX1272 with LoRaWAN stack), Sigfox (TI CC1125 narrowband transceiver), and either LTE Cat. M1 or NarrowBand-IoT (LTE Cat. NB1) over a 699Mhz to 2690Mhz frequency range with global support. ZigBee support is in the works. The one common non-wireless option is a 1-inch, 128 x 64-pixel OLED display.

Moduino X1 vs. X2

The larger Moduino X2 adds a microSD slot and doubles the I/O, so you get 2x RS-232/485 ports instead of one on the X1, 8x DIO instead of four, and 4x analog inputs instead of two. In addition, the X2 provides more optional features including 2x analog outputs and a 10/100 Ethernet port.

Render of Moduino X1 with antennas
(click image to enlarge)

The X2 also adds “ExCard” support, which include the same add-on modules supported by the ModBerry. These include wireless modules such as 3G/GPRS and GPS, as well as accelerometers, relays, Ethernet, serial, PCIe, ADC, and DIO connections.

The Moduino X1, meanwhile, has the advantage of being the only model that can run on battery power. Both models offer 5V inputs and the same LiPo or Supercapacitor battery options, but the X2’s battery can only act as a temporary UPS backup rather than a standalone power source.

The X1 is also smaller, measuring 90 x 36 x 32mm compared to the X2’s 90 x 71 x 32mm. In the coming months, an aluminum case will be offered as an optional alternative to the current ABS plastic case, which would expand the dimensions to or 95 x 35 x 41mm and 95 x 71 x 41mm, respectively. DIN-rail mounting is available for both.

Further information

No pricing was provided for the Moduino X1 or X2, but they are currently available for order for 25 percent off — despite the fact that only renders, rather than finished product photos, are shown. More information may be found on Techbase’s Moduino product page.

(advertise here)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Please comment here...