Arduino hardware and software have been used for smart agriculture applications for years, but Arduino has now launched a board part of its Arduino Pro program specifically designed for smart farming. Meet Arduino Edge Control.
Powered by a Nordic Semi nRF52840 Bluetooth microcontroller, the board offers the usual digital & analog I/O’s, plus four 60/V2.5A solid-state relays, hydrostatic watermark sensor inputs, support for DC or solar power input, and can be augmented with one or two Arduino MKR boards for WiFi, 3G NB-IoT, or LoRaWAN connectivity.
- MCU – Nordic Semi nRF52840 Arm Cortex-M4F microcontroller @ 64 MHz with 1MB flash, 256KB SRAM
- Additional storage – 2 MB QSPI flash memory, MicroSD card slot
- Bluetooth LE
- Optional Wifi, 2G, 3G, NB-IoT, eMTC, and/or LoRaWAN via Arduino MKR board
- USB – Full-speed 12 Mbps micro USB port
- Expansion I/Os
- Digital Input – 6x edge-sensitive wake-up pins
- Digital Output
- 8x latching relay command outputs with drivers
- 8x latching relay command outputs without drivers
- High-speed 32 MHz SPI
- Quad SPI interface 32 MHz
- Relays – 4x 60V/2.5A galvanically isolated solid-state relays
- Analog Input
- 4x 4-20mA inputs
- 8x 0-5V analog inputs
- 16x hydrostatic watermark sensor input
- 12-bit 200 ksps ADC
- Terminal Block Connectors – 6x 18-pin plug-in terminal block connectors
- Misc – RTC battery
- Power Supply – 12 V Acid/lead SLA battery recharged via solar panels
- Power Consumption
- 200uA Sleep current
- Up to 34 months on a 12V/5Ah battery
- Dimensions – 104 x 86mm
- Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C
The Arduino Edge Control can remotely manage a specific application through the Arduino Cloud (or third-party services) using Bluetooth or optional connectivity options from cellular IoT to WiFi and LoRaWAN or Sigfox. Arduino also collaborated with Challenge Agriculture to integrate the Edge Control with Monitor R2-DX-Smart and Irriduo smart irrigation solution and water management application.
The board is capable of connecting sensors and drive actuators like latching valves and collect real-time data such as weather conditions, soil quality, crop growth, etc… The data can then be analyzed in the cloud, and help improve crop yields, equipment efficiency, staff performance, resources usages, and so on.
The Arduino Edge Control will be sold for €166/US$199 on the Arduino Store, but currently, it can only be added to the wishlist. Note that documentation is also limited with only the PDF schematics and pinout diagrams, so I’d expect more details once the board is in stock/becomes available.