The Archimede project was created to provide engineers and hobbyists a highly versatile modular controller, easy to program, ready to use and installable in a standard electric panel thanks to its case designed for DIN rail mounting.
We have stated in the past that Archimedes platform has also been designed to allow the use of different CPUs by ARM Cortex M4 (installed by default), and today we are happy to give you a practical demonstration of this strength: we have created Archiduino, a controller with all the qualities of Archimede, but with a CPU AVR ATMEGA32U4, 100% software compatible with Arduino Leonardo.
The name Archiduino – as easy to understand – is the union between the words Archimede and Arduino. This is obviously not a single union of words but also, and especially, of technology. By taking advantage of the versatility of the platform Archimedes we have implemented the CPU AVR ATMEGA32U4 @ 16 MHz in order to meet the needs of those who have already developed applications in the Arduino environment and where they feel at ease.
We have created a system that has a development environment no longer bound with Windows / .net MicroFramework, designing a programmable controller with the hardware versatility and modularity typical of Archimede, but with the CPU programmable according to the standard Arduino.
What Archiduino offers more than Arduino Leonardo?
The added value of Archiduino is constituted by the plurality of interface modules, I/Os and signal conditioning, at his disposal, which can be simultaneously mounted. The system has been designed to be plugged into a modular DIN rail mounting (6 modules) solution that allows you to move from the development phase to the final use of the software in the field with a simplicity and speed not found in other programmable platforms.
The compactness and modularity of Archiduino are appreciable since the implementation of simply projects. For example, imagine having to deal with the construction of an elementary system of home / building automation with basic features that require two relay outputs, two digital inputs opto-isolated, RS232 serial port to communicate with other hardware and an LCD display with four keys push-button control. Suppose also that our project, once realized, needs to be installed in a norm-compliant cabinet.
At this point we have to choose our ideal platform to develop the project, bearing in mind that we have a limited space for mounting in a standard framework, we need to control costs and we do not want to foreclose any subsequent implementations and expansions.
A quick look in the table below allows us to easily detect that, by using Archiduino Kit Plus version (which already includes the DIN box, the LCD display and an array of inputs and outputs), the required services for the project are already available and therefore not require additional costs. Furthermore, none of the modules required by the project needs to be externally mounted to the base board, thus allowing to carry out the project with certain dimensional characteristics and standards-compliant. In addition, the good availability of expansion socket leaves a lot of space for additional modules that may be required with subsequent expansion of the project, effectively eliminating the need to replace the electrical panel or – in the future – to change drastically the layout of the system.
|Requirements||Archiduino Plus Kit
|n. 2 relay output||1 onboard + 1 module||external Shield 2 relay|
|n. 2 opto-coupled inputs||onboard||external Shield Opto|
|n. 1 RS232 port||1 module||external Shield RS232|
|n. 1 LCD display||onboard||external Shield|
|DIN rail mount||onboard||external module|
The choice of Archiduino Plus Kit at this point is almost taken for granted, whereas the set of components necessary for the realization of the exemplified project has a final cost even less than the whole of shields needed for the use of Arduino. Furthermore, with Archiduino we ensure the expandability of the project: its layout will allow you to add other modules in the future without affecting the size of the box and without having to replace the main board or the connections. Because with Archiduino:
1) you fit the required module,
2) you connect the corresponding wiring plug
3) and the system is ready to be programmed and used.
Simple, isn’t it?
And what about the software? As we said Archiduino can be programmed with the Arduino IDE and is 100% compatible with the huge volume of examples and software libraries for Arduino already available on the web (see below for links to the main repositories).
Archiduino’s technical specifications
|Case||6 modules DIN rail mount|
|Dimensions WxLxH||102 x 88 x 66 mm|
|Plugs||Extractable step 5mm|
|Processor||AVR ATmega32U4 16 MHz|
|Supported Buses||RS232, RS485, SPI, 1-Wire, Ethernet|
|Generic digital I/Os||26|
|Analog inputs||14 @10bit|
|Real Time Clock||DS1337 (optional battery)|
|External EEprom||2K (64K optional)|
|UART (COM)||1 (115200 kbaud max)|
|USB||Micro USB B type|
|LCD display with keyboard||optional|
|Supply voltage||12 VDC|
What can we do with Archiduino?
With Archiduino we can cover various fields of application, such as:
- Home automation
- Generic automation
- Data collecting
- Alarm systems
- Timekeeping and access controls
- Robotics teaching
The widespread use of Arduino has encouraged experimenters and developers to build projects of any kind. The spirit of the Open Software that animates the Arduino community has enabled the sharing of countless works ready for use or that can serve as inspiration for the development of new projects. Below we present the links to two of the leading web repositories of these projects:
We are developing a library that allows you to connect one or more Archiduino via the ICSP connector (SPI) to a standard ARDUINO board, to expand its resources of input and output (digital and analog) without taking the connectors reserved for shields.
Soon it will be available on our website.