SODAQ is bringing the Internet of Things outdoors with its new matchbox-sized, solar-powered board.
It’s safe to say that a vast majority of Kickstarter projects focused around the M2M and IoT space are seemingly designed with indoor connectivity in mind. As a result, Makers are often challenged with finding a decent solution to power their smart devices that can be easily and reliability implemented outdoors. Cognizant of this, SODAQ has developed a next-generation, Arduino-comaptible board that is capable of recording data and triggering actions in any environment — whether it’s in a rural area, on the beach or throughout the house.
If the name of the Dutch startup sounds familiar, that’s because the team had launched an incredibly successful crowdfunding campaign back in 2013 for their LEGO-like, plug and play prototyping board. With an ATmega328P as its brain, the multi-feature microprocessor enabled both Makers and engineers to easily connect a wide variety of sensors and devices to the Internet.
Back again with a new matchbox-sized board, Autonomo is built around an Atmel | SMART SAM D21 MCU and is equipped with a Bee Socket that can host up to 10 different communication modules, including Wi-Fi, GPRS, 3G, LoRa, SIGFOX and Bluetooth to name a few. Given its Cortex M0+ 32-bit core, the unit can do just about as much as a Raspberry Pi while consuming 100 times less energy. Impressively, the board can be powered by a solar panel no larger than a smartphone, thereby allowing it to become self-sufficient and autonomous, hence its name.
“The new M0+ processor packs computing power which is comparable to the first Mac. It will make you wonder why you ever used anything else. We also have created a Grove shield for you to use with all of your favorite Grove modules (sensors and actuators),” the team writes.
With all of the data services available online today, the Autonomo comes with a simple set of visual programming tools that will help Makers easily upload their codes to any gadget. What’s more is that the focus lies on outdoor applications that run efficiently and on extremely low power. Meaning, if a user wants to devise their own application, such as a solar radiation alert, SODAQ has made a plethora of open source example code readily accessible. Next to that there is a complete library to let FIWARE developers upload data to the Orion context broker.
Looking forward to tinkering around and bringing your hacks to the most remote corners of the planet? Neither can the crew at SODAQ. In order to bring their technology to the masses, its creators have launched Autonomo on Kickstarter with aspirations of garnering $11,380. Delivery is slated for October 2015.