Akari, a start-up based in Japan, has designed an industrial base shield for Raspberry Pi 4/3/Zero, Jetson Nano, Rock Pi 4, and other compatible single board computers.
The board allows users to create industrial gateways integrating wireless modules (5G, 4G LTE, WiFi 6 and/or LoRa), a neural compute stick, relay module, and digital inputs, RS232/RS422/RS485, and more.
Industrial 4G/5G Base Shield specifications:
- Compatible SBCs – Raspberry Pi 4, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi Zero, Jetson Nano, Rock Pi 4, UP Board, and probably other SBCs with a similar form factor
- Build-in relay module and digital input (also reserve dry contacts and wet contacts)
- Digital input / digital output
- RS232, RS485, RS422
- Internal headers
- USB host port for connection with Raspberry Pi
- M.2 socket for 5G
- Mini PCIe socket for 4G LTE, WiFI6, or LoRa
- SIM card socket
- Internal bay for Intel Neural Compute Stick
- Misc – RTC module with a coin-cell backup battery, power & reset buttons, buzzer
- Safety – 15KV ESD Protection
- Power Supply – 9-24V wide input voltage range up to 5A.
- Dimensions – TBD
- Certifications – CE/FCC (pending)
Some of the use cases listed by the company include aerial photography (drone with GoPro camera connected over 5G), car telemetry system, industrial control, solar panels controllers, etc…
It looks to be purely a hardware project, and there’s no specific software provided with the base shield. Hopefully, drivers for the wireless modules, the RS485 controller, etc… are already included in Raspberry Pi OS, or Akari will provide some sort of Wiki to get started.
Akari launched its base shield on Kickstarter with a 100,000 JPY funding target, or about $967. Rewards start at $59 or $69 for the base kit respectively without and with ESD protection, but most people may prefer pledging $99 to get the board and metal chassis. If you’d rather get a full system (minus the SBC) with 5G and the enclosure that would be $399. That’s no a bad price for 5G as it’s the same price as Waveshare 5G Raspberry Pi HAT. Note that shipping adds $15, and delivery is scheduled to start in March 2021.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.