The AGILE Maker’s shield: Onboard sensors, expansion sockets and main features

The AGILE Gateway is intended to be a platform the community can take part on. From that intention comes the necessity of a quick development hardware where makers can test their ideas and contribute to the project.

The AGILE Maker’s shield integrates with the Raspberry Pi, following the Raspberry Pi HATs specification, and allows the AGILE software to run on it, making it a cheap and portable development hardware where testing sensors and communication modules is as easy as plug or unplug them, leaving the makers plenty of time to fulfill their creativity instead of worrying about specifications and configurations.

In order to allow the integration of the most used communication modules in the IoT market, two expansion sockets are included. These sockets come in a XBee form factor and let the connection of communication modules such as ZigBee, LoRaWAN, 802.15.4 or Z-Wave. Due to the nature of the Raspberry Pi, other communication technologies like WiFi, Bluetooth or 3G/4G can also be used. For the most power demanding modules, there is a 9V input plug.

makers_shieldAlpha version of the Maker’s shield

Furthermore, the shield uses an I²C bus to speak with the Raspberry Pi, thus keeping most of the Raspberry GPIOs (including the UART ones) unused, and letting the makers take advantage of them in their projects.

But the shield is not only a connector for sensors and communication modules, as it includes sensors for meassuring temperature, humidity and pressure, and an analog to digital conversor. Of course, it also includes several programmable LEDs.

All of the software developed for AGILE is open source and can be found in the AGILE IoT Github page, including the schematics of the alpha version of the Maker’s shield and some working libraries already developed for various modules (ZigBee, XBee and LoRaWAN).

Author
David Remon, Libelium

Posted in Community, Technologies and tagged , , , , , , .

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