4zerobox, industrial module by italian startup with ESP32 heart

luca 20/11/2017 0

With great pleasure, I want to introduce you today the project of an Italian startup4zerobox.

4zerobox is a module, DIN-rail mountable (9 modules), designed to complement or replace a classic PLC in industrial automation applications. As the name suggests, the features of 4zerobox can help companies interested in implementing Industry 4.0 solutions.

4zerobox-001

4zerobox is a project by the italian startup TOI (Things On Internet), born within the University of Pisa. Currently a Kickstarter campaign is active to found the production.

The “heart” of 4zerobox – and that’s the reason why I’m writing about it in this blog – is the esp32 chip. Thanks to the partnership with Zerynth (I’ll blog about it more widely in a future article) you can program the module using the Python language and leverage already available high-level libraries for the different I/O and communication interfaces.

In details, 4zerobox offers:

  • wifi, ethernet, BLE, serial (RS-232 e RS-485) and CAN connectivity
  • 4 analog input channels configurable as 4-20mA (single-ended o differential) or 0-10V
  • 4 analog channels for RTD or contact/proximity sensors
  • 2 opto-isolated digital inputs
  • sink digital output
  • 3 non-invasive current sensor channels
  • 2 NO/NC relays
  • a MicroSD slot
  • the possibility to connect and manage a LiPo battery
  • 2 mikroBUS sockets

4zerobox-002

Very interesting is the possibility to connect, using the MikroBUS bus, several external devices. MikroBUS is indeed a standard interface (defined by MikroElektronica) and soon adopted by many manufacturers: there are already more than 300 different boards that offer the MikroBUS interface and can therefore directly connected to 4zerobox.

In conclusion 4zerobox can allow companies to respond easily to integration, IoT, cloud… requirements that are relevant to the Industry 4.0 trend.

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