Exo Sense RP – A Raspberry Pi RP2040-based multi sensor module

Sfera Labs Exo Sense RP is a multi-sensor module with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller and various sensors to report temperature, humidity, air quality (VOC), light intensity, audio, and motion.

The module can work as a standalone unit but can also communicate with a host through RS485 and USB interfaces, and supports expansion via surge-protected digital inputs and outputs. The Exo Sense RP is designed for indoor residential and commercial applications such as environmental monitoring and data logging, people and assets tracking, room management, access control, and more.

Raspberry Pi RP2040 multi-sensor module

Exo Sense RP specifications:

  • MCU – Raspberry Pi RP2040 dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ @ 133 MHz with 264KB SRAM
  • Storage – 16MB flash memory
  • Communication ports
    • RS485 half-duplex up to 115200 bps, with surge protection
    • Micro USB 1.1 Type-B connector
  • Sensors
    • Sensirion SHT40 temperature and humidity sensor
    • Sensirion SGP40 air quality (VOC) sensor
    • Texas Instruments OPT3001 light intensity sensor
    • TDK ICS-43432 digital microphone for sound intensity monitoring, recording, and processing
    • Panasonic EKMC PIR motion sensor
    • Optional earthquake sensor module
  • Expansion
    • 2x digital inputs from 0 to +40V; max cable length: 30m or 2x digital inputs/outputs (5V); max cable length: 10m
    • 1x open collector output; range: 0 to +VS; max cable length: 2m
  • HW security – Microchip ATECC608 secure element chip
  • Misc – RTC with backup battery; buzzer;
  • Power supply – 10 to 28V (+VS) DC with reverse polarity and surge protection
  • Power consumption – 50 mA @ +12V (600mW)
  • Dimensions – 80 x 80 x 34.2 to 41.7 mm (wall mount ABS case)
  • Weight – 90 grams
  • Temperature Range
    • Operating: -10…+50 °C (non-condensing humidity)
    • Storage – -20…+TBD °C
  • Relative humidity – 5% to 90% noncondensing
  • IP rating – IP20
  • Certifications – EN 61000-4-2 (ESD), EN 61000-4-3 (Radiated RF Field), EN 61000-4-4 (Burst/fast transient), EN 61000-4-6 (Conducted), EN 61000-4-8 (Power frequency magnetic field)

The company says the Exo Sense RP can be programmed in C/C++ and MicroPython like any RP2040 device and is supported by several IDEs, including Visual Studio Code and the Arduino IDE. But Sfera Labs also developed codes and samples specifically for the Exo Sense RP with Arduino, MicroPython, and C/C++ samples available on Github.

Raspberry Pi RP2040 CM4 moduleIf we closely look at the sensor module’s internal photos, we can see an RP2040CM module that appears to follow exactly the Raspberry Pi CM4 form factor but is fitted with a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller. In theory, that does not make a lot of sense with the relative lack of I/Os from the QFN-56 chip, unless you’d like to reuse an existing CM4 baseboard. That’s the case here since Exo Sense RP appears to follow the exact same design as the Raspberry Pi CM4-based Exo Sense Pi. They just switched the modules.

Exo Sense RP is sold for €230.00 plus taxes on Sfera Labs. Since a large part of the cost is the baseboard and sensors, it does not save much against the Exo Sense Pi going for €267.00  plus tax when fitted with a Raspberry Pi CM4 with 2GB RAM, a 16GB eMMC flash, and a WiFI 5 + BLE 5.0 module.

Thanks to theguyuk for the tip.

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