Automation Controller Uses Raspberry Pi Compute Module

Remote control has a new face. Based on the tiny credit card sized single board computer Raspberry Pi or RBPi, Techbase has designed a Linux-based ModBerry automation computer. They back it up with an iMod cloud platform. ModBerry is all about remote control.

This version of RBPi was introduced lately and known as the Compute Module or Computer-on-Module. People in Poland have taken up the RBPi Compute Module wholeheartedly and turned it into ModBerry. Initially, the Polish startup started with Sherlybox, a private cloud storage device based on the RBPi COM (Compute Module). Now, Techbase, the industrial computer manufacturer from Gdansk, Poland, has based their automation computer ModBerry 500 on the RBPi COM.

The RBPi COM is a part of the development kit that Farnell Element 14 and RS Components have released recently. The kit also contains a separate baseboard. Later plans include selling the module independently.

Techbase is already in the market with numerous Linux-ready and Linux-based automation controllers and industrial computers. Techbase supports some of its computers with its cloud-based iMod, iModCloud and iModWizard, which also provide Software-as-a-service or SaaS applications. This includes its telemetry computer iMod-X1000.

In contrast, Sherlybox is a private crowd based on local storage. With the iMod ecosystem, users can store data and control several iMod compatible computers via a cloud platform. By combining ModBerry 500 and the software from iMod, users have access to applications in the general automation market and intelligent buildings. According to Techbase, they can also monitor and control wind farms, GSM base stations and power stations. Users can set up their devices as protocol converters, telemetry modules, data loggers, servers, MODBUS routers, PLC devices, SNMP agents and many more.

The iMod system is a versatile arrangement offering multi-level, user access cloud management via configuration files. According to Techbase, its iModWizard makes it unnecessary for the user to possess any programming knowledge. Users can freely create different user profiles such as end-user, administrator and system designer. Additionally, iModCloud helps users to update software and configure services.

With iModCloud, users have custom-based actions including notifications and management, which are extremely important for remote control. Users can see the location of GPS-enabled devices on maps provided as part of data visualization capabilities. Users can access their data on smartphones or tablets. Techbase assures security via SSL certificates and encrypted VPN communication.

The ModBerry 500 operates on a wide-ranging 9-24V AC/DC supply. It is available in commercial as well as in extended models, which can work between -25 and 80°C. The physical dimensions are 106x91x61 mm. The ModBerry 500 gets its computing power from the RBPi COM, which provides it with the 700MHz ARM11 Broadcom system-on-chip processor running Raspbian Linux. The module also shares its 512MB RAM and its 4GB NAND flash storage with the ModBerry.

The hardware features of the ModBerry include several real-world ports such as a USB 2 host port, a 10/100 Ethernet port, a slot for SIM card, audio out and a user programmable button. Other ports include an HDMI port and a reset button. There is also a pair of RS-232 and RS-485 ports, CAN ports and a 1-wire bus.

For more information on ModBerry 500, refer to this website.