Arduino Edge Control is here to step up the level of agricultural technology

Arduino Edge Control

Popular embedded board developer Arduino has announced Arduino Edge Control, which adds up to its pro lineup of boards. The board comes up as an all-in-one platform for your control and IoT needs, particularly in applications involving agriculture. The user can easily and quickly deploy it for remote monitoring and control in outdoor environments. Provided the huge community and support of Arduino, it serves as a smooth and easy platform for new users in this field.

Arduino Edge Control is targeted mainly for smart agriculture. “The Arduino Edge Control is capable of connecting sensors and drive actuators like latching valves (common in agriculture). Moreover, it has the capability to provide real-time monitoring over the entire process, thereby reducing production-related risks,” says Arduino on its product page. “The Edge Control can improve crop quality, reduce effort and minimize the error by automating processes like irrigation, fertilization, or pest control.”

Important highlights of Arduino Edge Control

Arduino Edge Control top and bottom views

Arduino Edge Control comes with Cortex-M4F based nRF52840 as its main microcontroller. The same chip was also on the Adafruit Feather nRF52840 board and has proved to deliver high performance. Arduino Edge Control intends to do the same thing with the Cortex-M4 processor, which is clocked up to 64 MHz. The nRF52840 chip also features built-in support for Bluetooth 5.0 and comes with 1 MB onboard flash and 2 MB onboard QSPI flash memory.

A major highlight of this board is that you can add not only one, but two Arduino MKR boards to it. With this, you can expand the connectivity of Arduino Edge Control with 2G/3G/CatM1/NB-IoT modems, LoRa, Sigfox, and Wi-Fi. The board also features four onboard TS13102 galvanically isolated relays, which can operate with limits of up to 60V/2.5A. These relays are essential for applications where you are required to completely isolate the power circuits from the control circuitry when the chances of faults in the power system are high.

Another interesting feature of Arduino Edge Control is that it supports solar power capabilities on the board itself. So, you can hook up a solar PV system with a maximum voltage of 18V onto the corresponding terminal block on the board. The board is also highly efficient in terms of power usage as it consumes around 200 mA of sleep current. Arduino claims that if you power the board with a 12V/5Ah battery, then you can run up to 36 months, i.e. 3 whole years on a single charge which is quite fascinating. To add up on that, the solar PV system is used to charge the 12V Lead-acid battery which will further expand the lifespan of the battery. This way, you need not worry about powering the board for at least 3 years at a time.

Hardware and software aspects

Arduino Edge Control layout

The Arduino Edge Control features six digital inputs, which are edge-sensitive wake-up pins. For digital output, there are eight latching relay command outputs with drivers and eight without drivers. There are 4x 4-20mA inputs, 8x 0-5V inputs, and 16x hydrostatic watermark sensor inputs for the analog input part. Also, there are 6 terminal block connectors on the board. The board comes with a form factor of 104×86 mm and an operational temperature of -40° C to +85° C. it also has the following peripherals-

  • Full-speed 12 Mbps USB
  • Arm CryptoCell CC310 security subsystem
  • QSPI/SPI/TWI/I²S/PDM/QDEC
  • High speed 32 MHz SPI
  • Quad SPI interface 32 MHz
  • 12-bit 200 ksps ADC
  • 128 bit AES/ECB/CCM/AAR co-processor

Finally, coming to the software aspects of Arduino Edge Control, it will have the support of Arduino IDE as the other Arduino products. You can refer to the getting-starting guide on the Arduino Pro site. Now, with the IoT capabilities of the board, you can even manage or monitor it remotely using Arduino IoT Cloud or other similar services. This way, the user can perform remote access and maintenance in several applications. Be it monitoring and controlling the condition of pool water or automate the access control in real estate or construction sites, the Arduino Edge Control with its robust design will work flawlessly in these systems.

Arduino Edge Control currently retails for $199 on its official product page.

The product page is the source of all the images and technical specifications.

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