Via a Kickstarter campaign, Italian tech startup Things On Internet (TOI) Srl launches 4zerobox, promoted as the first modular electronic board that is easy-to-configure and specifically designed for IoT and Industry 4.0 solution providers. According to the feisty group, 4zerobox users both large and small can accelerate the digitization of industrial environments, where the implementation is often limited by practical obstacles like the inaccessibility of PLC code and the spread of low capability IoT gateways.
The board has been designed for IoT specialists and Industry 4.0 solution providers wishing to quickly adapt systems to meet real-world industrial needs while maintaining reliability and making compliance with technical and industrial regulations paramount. It also opens the Industrial IoT world to high-level language developers thanks to the full Python programmability. Developers can choose the best installation strategy, adapting it to a specific industrial environment. While allowing to acquire data from the PLC via digital ports - filtering the data onboard to avoid bandwidth overload and waste of cloud resources - it also enables the installation and management of distributed sensors, for a full Industrial IoT experience.
Housed in a DIN-rail mountable case with industrial grade sensor channels, the box features connectivity support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, LoRa, CAN, RS485, and RS232 together with JTAG, I2C and SPI peripheral interfaces. 4zerobox hosts an ESP32 microcontroller by Espressif Systems (240 MHz, 4 Mb Flash, 312 KB SRAM), that is programmable in Python thanks to the Zerynth SDK. This also enables Firmware OTA updates and ready-to-use connectivity modules for IoT cloud services like AWS and Google Cloud. Last but not least, there are 2 on-board mikroBUS sockets to extend the 4zerobox with hundreds of MikroElektronika click boards.