Working with Arduino is fun and rewarding but can be a handful for inexperienced users. The ESLOV IoT Invention kit is a new plug-and-play fully modular platform that wants to change this. It focuses on providing novices an fast and intuitive method of creating Internet of Things devices, while retaining full compatibility with the existing Arduino/Genuino ecosystem.
Naming the platform after Eslöv, a small town in Sweden, was not at random. Development took place for the most part in Malmö, Sweden as part of a 3-year program called PELARS (Practice-based Experiential Learning Analytics Research and Support) funded by the European Union. Such initiatives of exploring new methods of learning are essential nowadays, and this comes to emphasize Arduino’s commitment towards STEM education.
The ESLOV IoT toolkit is a very good starting point for beginners who have little or no experience in fiddling with wires, soldering or programming. It can also prove itself very useful to anyone who wants to quickly create a new connected device or add smart capabilities to their household appliances.
How it works
Hardware-wise the system is comprised of a wireless hub – the main part of the system – and 25 different function modules which can be connected in virtually any combination or amount. Communication between the modules and the hub takes place over I2C, with one extra pin added for enhanced status detection and optimized energy usage.
The wireless hub sports a very competent ARM Cortex-M0+ microcontroller, similar to the MKR1000, and integrates WiFi and USB interfaces. Below are some quick specs:
- MCU: 48MHz Microchip SAMD21 ARM Cortex-M0+;
- Memory: 32KB RAM, 256KB Flash;
- Communication with modules: I2C;
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, USB.
The smart function modules integrate ATmega328P microcontrollers, very similar to the Arduino/Genuino UNO board. Each of them comes with its own firmware from the factory, however they can be reprogrammed via I2C or using an external programmer. They have very low power requirements and a small form factor of 2.5cm2 (1 square inch). Let’s take a look their specs:
- MCU: 8MHz Microchip ATmega328P;
- Communication: I2C;
- Voltage: 3.3V.
Since the ESLOV IoT toolkit is fully compatible with Arduino it can be programmed using all the available online or desktop based editing tools.
The easiest method would be of course to use the visual programming environment. Simply connect the hub and the modules you want and power the system up. The editor will automatically recognize the connected modules and expose their configurable parameters.
Draw connections between the modules, define behaviors or other attributes and publish the project on the Arduino Cloud. This is it. All you need to do now is to access the project from any location. You can monitor or tweak parameters of your newly developed contraption from your phone or desktop computer.
Ordering and prices
The ESLOV IoT Invention kit seeks for your support on Kickstarter these days. There are lots of pledges to choose from and it does not come as cheap as you might expect.
For about US $55 or 50 EUR you can get the WiFi hub with an integrated motion sensor. A basic bundle including the WiFi hub and 3 modules – RGB LED, button and buzzer – will cost $100 or 89 EUR. The Pro package which includes the WiFi hub and 21 modules – including an OLED display, Hall sensor, DC motor controller, PIR and many more – has a price of $500 or 449 EUR. Deliveries are expected to start in June 2017.
Source: Arduino blog