Exo Sense RP Brings A Bundle of Sensors to RP2040

The Exo Sense RP
(Image credit: Sfera Labs)

New from Sfera Labs is the Exo Sense RP (opens in new tab), a version of its existing Exo Sense range of multi-sensor modules for environmental monitoring, now featuring Raspberry Pi's RP2040 (opens in new tab) SoC at its core. Thanks to CNX Software (opens in new tab) for bringing this one to our attention.

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Inside the off-white ABS plastic shell you’ll find temperature, humidity, and air quality (VOC) sensors, plus a light intensity monitor, PIR motion sensor, and a digital microphone. An earthquake sensor is an optional extra. The RP2040 is backed up with 16MB of on-board flash storage, and there's a hardware security chip too, all squeezed into a casing 80mm (3.1in) square.

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MicrocontrollerRP2040 microcontroller chip designed by Raspberry Pi in the United Kingdom. Dual-core Arm Cortex M0+ processor, flexible clock running up to 133 MHz. 264KB of SRAM.
Storage16MB Flash memory
SensorsSensirion SHT40 temperature and humidity sensor
Row 3 - Cell 0 Sensirion SGP40 air quality (VOC) sensor
Row 4 - Cell 0 Texas Instruments OPT3001 light intensity sensor
Row 5 - Cell 0 TDK ICS-43432 digital microphone for sound intensity monitoring, recording, and processing
Row 6 - Cell 0 Panasonic EKMC PIR motion sensor
Row 7 - Cell 0 Optional earthquake sensor module
Power10 to 28V (+VS) DC with reverse polarity and surge protection
Dimensions80 x 80 x 34.2 to 41.7mm

The Exo Sense RP requires a wired connection, the RS485 point-to-point serial interface enabling the industry standard Modbus protocol or any other half-duplex serial protocol, and you’ll need to feed it a DC power supply between 9 and 28V. There's a USB interface too, for programming and debugging. Like any other RP2040 device, the sensor bundle can be programmed using C/C++ or MicroPython, and it is supported by several IDEs including Visual Studio Code and the Arduino. MicroPython, Arduino, and C/C++ samples specific to the device are available on GitHub.

Potential uses for the device include environmental or building monitoring, tracking of people or assets, room management, or anything else that requires the kind of passive data gathering it offers. 

The Exo Sense RP joins the Exo Sense Py (using Pycom’s 32-bit Espressif ESP32 chipset) and the Exo Sense Pi (Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4) in the range. It’s available from the Sfera Labs store for $264.50 + tax at the time of writing, though it’s not quite clear how much the earthquake sensor adds to the cost.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.