Bee Motion S3 – An ESP32-S3 board with a PIR motion sensor (Crowdfunding)

The Bee Motion S3 is an ESP32-S3 WiFi and Bluetooth IoT board with a PIR motion sensor beside the more usual I/Os, Qwiic connector, USB-C port, and LiPo battery support.

It is at least the third PIR motion wireless board from Smart Bee Designs, as the company previously introduced the ESP32-S2 powered Bee Motion board and the ultra-small Bee Motion Mini with an ESP32-C3 SoC. The new Bee Motion S3 adds a few more I/Os, a light sensor, and the ESP32-S3’s AI vector extensions could potentially be used for faster and/or lower-power TinyML processing.

ESP32-S3 board PIR Motion Sensor

Bee Motion S3 specifications:

  • Wireless module – Espressif Systems ESP32-S3-MINI-1 module (PDF datasheet) based on ESP32-S3 dual-core Xtensa LX7 microcontroller with 512KB SRAM, 384KB ROM, WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, and equipped with 8MB of QSPI flash and a PCB antenna
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for power and programming
  • Sensors
    • PIR sensor
      • S16-L221D passive infrared motion sensor with 3-meter range
      • Trimpot to adjust the sensitivity
    • Ambient light sensor
  • Expansion
    • 2x 12-pin headers with up to 18x GPIO, 11x ADC, SPI, I2C, UART, 5V, 2x 3.3V, and GND
    • Stemma/Qwiic connector
  • Misc – Reset and Boot buttons, RGB LED
  • Power Supply
    • 5V DC input via USB-C port
    • LiPo battery support via 2-pin JST connector, charging circuitry
    • Dual LDO design
  • Power consumption – Deep sleep – < 100 uA current
  • Dimensions – TBD, breadboard-compatible
Bee Motion S3 pinout diagram
Pinout diagram

The board is somewhat similar to the company’s Bee S3 board which comes without a PIR motion sensor and fewer I/Os. The Bee Motion S3 can be programmed with Arduino, CircuitPython, and MicroPython, and there’s also support for ESPHome for people wanting to easily integrate the board into their home automation system. PDF schematics, 3D STEP files, and sample code can be found on GitHub.

Some example use cases suggested by Paul Price (Smart Bee Designs) include tracking the eating habits of your pet(s) by placing the board in front of your pets food dish or dispenser, making a light night using the built-in motion sensor, light sensor, and RGB LED, and controlling a soldering iron to shut it off (through a relay connected to the board) when motion is not detected. If you need a PIR motion sensor with a longer range (up to 12 meters), the Everything Presence One Kit, also based on ESP32-S3, is an alternative, but it lacks battery support, comes with much fewer I/Os, and is more expensive.

The Bee Motion S3 board with ESP32-S3 wireless MCU and a PIR motion sensor has just launched on Crowd Supply. There’s a single $30 reward on offer with the board, a lens cap for the PIR sensor, and two header pins. Shipping adds $8 to the US, $18 to the rest of the world, and deliveries are scheduled to start in mid-June 2023.

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6 Replies to “Bee Motion S3 – An ESP32-S3 board with a PIR motion sensor (Crowdfunding)”

  1. Where do the holes on the bottom go? There’s no matching holes on the top? As someone who likes physics, this disturbs me.

      1. I just looked at the zoomed in image and I can now see that they’re just surface pads with silkscreen rings around them. Non-zoomed in, it really looked like they were 3D, but it appears that’s a trick of vision.

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