Industrial-Grade Raspberry Pi for the IoT
Michael Alba posted on July 12, 2016 |
Experts frustrated with the lack of diversity of industrial IoT boards build their own.
MyPi aims to be a low-cost and feature-rich motherboard for IoT applications. (Image courtesy of Embedded Micro Technology).

MyPi aims to be a low-cost and feature-rich motherboard for IoT applications. (Image courtesy of Embedded Micro Technology).

“We started our journey looking for something we couldn't find….”

So begins the Kickstarter campaign for MyPi, an industrial-strength Raspberry Pi for use in Internet of Things (IoT) projects. The board and the aforementioned journey were developed by a team of two experienced designers from the UK, Gavin Leyfield and Andrew O’Connell. The duo created the IoT board in response to the lack of options for low-cost and versatile IoT hardware, specifically:

“…an affordable industrial style single board computer complete with IO suitable for remote sensor-to-cloud data logging applications,” wrote the MyPi team.

 

The pair created a company named Embedded Micro Technology. They believe they have met the goal of creating a low-cost feature-rich IoT motherboard with MyPi. Based on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, MyPi was built with IoT engineers in mind. To quote the Kickstarter campaign once more, these features include:

  • mPCIe socket for 3G/4G modems (some even with GPS function)
  • Full speed uSD card for bulk storage using hinged type socket for reliability
  • Dual HD Raspberry Pi–compatible camera interfaces
  • 10/100 Ethernet + Dual USB 2.0 Ports
  • USB RS232/RTC/HDMI Video Out/User Status LEDs
  • Wide 9–23 VDC power input

An illustration of the MyPi features and manageable design. (Image courtesy of Kickstarter).
An illustration of the MyPi features and manageable design. (Image courtesy of Kickstarter).
 

The company has also designed a series of add-on cards to save time developing hardware for common applications, including Narrow Band RF, ADC and CAN-Bus. MyPi is also compatible with Raspberry Pi HAT (Hardware Attached on Top) boards to leverage the current abundance of Raspberry Pi capabilities.

Finally, the design is compatible with a number of board enclosure options from Hammond Manufacturing, which allows for user customization and board protection.

Does MyPi Fill a Hole in the IoT Market?

Although there are existing products that offer similar capabilities to MyPi, the creators were dismayed with the limitations involved. As they explained: “We were frustrated by the lack of options available. Off-the-shelf solutions tended to be either expensive, tied into propitiatory cloud platforms, or just lacking in the core features we needed.”

Engineers can learn a lesson from this frustration: If you see a need for something, chances are you’re not the only one.

Since its launch last month, the MyPi Kickstarter campaign has earned (at the time of writing) 61 backers and £7,786 out of its funding target of £15,000 by July 23. Although there’s still a ways to go to secure project funding, interest in the board is undeniable.

 

So whether you see MyPi as a tool to fill your own engineering purposes, or whether you view it as an example of modular engineering that addresses a real IoT need, there is something for all IoT engineers to learn from this campaign.

 

To view the full MyPi Kickstarter campaign, follow this link. To read about another engineering Kickstarter campaign, on modular robotics, that was successfully funded, click here. And lastly, to learn about another Raspberry Pi project, read this article.

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