Edge IoT Launches MKR Module Add-on Board for the Raspberry Pi

Not to be confused with Arduino's MKR family, Edge IoT's MKR Module is the successor to its popular Pi-oT Raspberry Pi add-on.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago β€’ Hardware 101
The MKR Module, despite its Arduino-like name, is designed for the Raspberry Pi. (πŸ“·: Edge IoT)

Edge IoT has launched a crowdfunding campaign for another Raspberry Pi add-on board, the MKR Module β€” not to be confused, its name aside, with Arduino's MKR range of microcontroller development boards.

Edge IoT launched its first crowdfunding campaign last year, building on a prototype designed for business-to-business sales to create a Maker-friendly housing and extension board to turn a Raspberry Pi into a powerful IoT device. Now, having fulfilled rewards from its previous campaign, the company has another offering: the MKR Module.

"The MKR Module features a breakout board and GPIO port protection inside our popular enclosure used on our Pi-oT Module," explains Edge IoT's Nate Albright. "This device will allow you to endlessly prototype and create new projects with your Raspberry Pi. We took everything needed to interface with the physical world and put it all in one place.

"We designed this Module based on what we wanted to use in our own projects. We wanted quality hardware for our projects, so we made it."

The MKR Module is based on the earlier Pi-oT, but more generalized: The Raspberry Pi's 21 otherwise-unused general-purpose input/outputs (GPIOs) are routed along with I2C to screw terminals through in-series resistors; there's an integrated breadboard on the top, plus a built-in fan for active cooling; the 5V terminal allows for back-powering the Raspberry Pi as well as connected accessories; and the design is claimed to be fully compatible with third-party HAT add-ons.

The board and Raspberry Pi are then housed in the same enclosure as the Pi-oT, which offers protection as well as support for screw mounting or DIN rail mounting. Both the board and case are said to be compatible with any 40-pin Raspberry Pi board β€” meaning everything from the Raspberry Pi Model B+ upwards, excluding only the very original Raspberry Pi Model A and B and the industrial-focused SODIMM-form-factor Compute Module range.

The MKR Module is priced at $30 for early bird backers, rising to $35 β€” a 10% discount, Edge IoT claims, from the board's eventual retail price. Backers are expected to receive their goods in March this year, with more information available on the project's Kickstarter campaign page.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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