Innovation

Raspberry Pi with an industrial flavor: ModBerry adds 4G, GPS, and cloud data

The ModBerry's makers say the device is suited to a wide range of industrial uses where a system is needed to collect, log and visualize data.

modberry500.png
Image: TECHBASE Group

The Raspberry Pi 3 has been built into a new industrial device, aimed monitoring everything from factory lines to datacenters.

The new ModBerry 500 M3 device is based on the compute module variant of the latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.

The Compute Module 3 (CM3) packs the Pi 3's 1.2GHz, quad-core Broadcom BCM2837 processor and 1GB memory onto a slimmer and smaller board, designed to be built into commercial appliances.

The ModBerry 500 M3 ships inside a robust case and adds a much larger range of connectivity options to the Pi 3, as well as providing a cloud-connected software platform for processing data.

The ModBerry's makers say the device is suited to a wide range of industrial uses where a system is needed to collect, log and visualize data, suggesting it could be used with medical, energy management, IoT, smart car, production line and other IT systems.

SEE: Choosing a Raspberry Pi OS? Here's the definitive list

The ModBerry adds support for GPS tracking and wireless connectivity via 3G/LTE, Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi—necessary since the CM3 lacks the Pi 3's built-in Bluetooth/Wi-Fi support. It also bolts on a wide range of wired serial ports for collecting and sharing data.

The ModBerry runs a custom software platform called iMod, which as well as collecting data can convert it into new formats, log it in a database and visualize that data using the connected iModCloud service. iModCloud can also help manage updates and access control for ModBerry devices, as well as being used to configure the ModBerry to automate certain tasks.

Additional hardware, such as accelerometers, or connectivity can be added via the ModBerry's three expansion modules.

The ModBerry 500 M3 is one of a series of ModBerry devices made by the Polish company TECHBASE Group.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation says the CM3 provides "twice the RAM and roughly 10x the CPU performance of the original module" as the original Compute Module board.

The original Compute Module was used inside various IoT, home and factory automation products, as well as a media player.

"The idea of the Compute Module was to provide an easy and cost-effective route to producing customized products based on the Pi hardware and software platform," said James Adams, COO and hardware lead at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, at the time of the CM3's launch.

"The thought was to provide the 'team in a garage' with easy access to the same technology as the big guys."

Specs

modberryspecs.png
Image: TECHBASE Group

Read more about the Raspberry Pi

About Nick Heath

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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