Python-programmable toolbox for Industrial-IoT developments, in crowdfunding

November 09, 2017 // By Graham Prophet
The Pisa, Italy-based tech startup TOI (Things On Internet), working in the development of IoT solutions, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for 4zerobox: a modular electronic board that is easy-to-configure and specifically designed for IoT and Industry 4.0 solution providers.

The aim of 4zerobox is for small and large enterprises to accelerate the digitization of industrial environments, where the implementation is often limited by practical obstacles such as the inaccessibility of PLC code and the spread of low capability IoT gateways.


The board has been designed for IoT specialists and Industry 4.0 solution providers wishing to easily and simply adapt systems to meet real-world industrial needs while maintaining reliability and making compliance with technical and industrial regulations paramount. It also opens the Industrial IoT world to high-level language developers thanks to the full Python programmability. Developers can choose the best installation strategy, adapting it to a specific industrial environment. It can acquire data from the PLC via digital ports - filtering the data onboard to avoid bandwidth overload and waste of cloud resources – while it also enables the installation and management of distributed sensors.


Housed in a DIN-rail mountable case with industrial grade sensor channels, the 4zerobox includes connectivity support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, LoRa, CAN, RS485, and RS232 together with JTAG, I 2C and SPI peripheral interfaces. 4zerobox hosts an ESP32 microcontroller by Espressif Systems (240 MHz, 4 Mb Flash, 312 kB SRAM), that is programmable in Python using the Zerynth SDK. This also enables Firmware OTA updates and ready-to-use connectivity modules for IoT cloud services such as AWS and Google Cloud. There are 2 on-board mikroBUS sockets to extend the 4zerobox with hundreds of MikroElektronika click boards.

The company’s CTO explains, “...we believe that acquisition and processing of industrial data should be as simple as building a new website; 4zerobox is designed to provide an enjoyable user experience, thanks to compact but accessible layout and a modular approach.”


The Kickstarter campaign can be found here -