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22 February, 2024

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€145 controller uses AI to generate code within seconds

02 February, 2024

A Greek automation start-up has announced an IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) controller that can be programmed and monitored via a smartphone, and avoids the need for programming expertise. Erqos says that the €145 EQSP32 controller can be used for industrial or home automation applications, as well as for instrumentation and for remote monitoring and control.

The Internet-connected controller is said to marry the convenience of installing a PLC with the processing power, low cost, flexibility, and openness of an embedded computer. It measures 70 x 60 x 50mm and can be mounted on a DIN rail.

At the core of EQSP32 is a “revolutionary” no-code programming technology. Users simply describe their needs, and a generative AI programming assistant generates the code “in seconds”. The EQ-AI assistant is trained to use the controller’s libraries and pre-built high-level functions.

The controller is being launched via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign with a target of raising €25,000. Investors can order a single controller for €145 or up to five at €116 each, with first deliveries estimated to be in March 2024.

The device provides an end-to-end link from the physical environment to the user's smartphone. It incorporates everything needed to create a custom IoT application, including interfaces for sensors and actuators, a powerful processor, intuitive software for Wi-Fi connections, and tools for creating custom smartphone apps.

At the heart of the open-architecture EQSP32 is an ESP32S3 SoC (system-on-chip) with a high-performance dual-core processor and integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Users will benefit from the large existing ESP32 ecosystem, including a wide range of tools and libraries.

Erqos says that its no-code controller will allow users to bring automation projects to life with minimal coding expertise. Users simply need to describe their needs, and an AI assistant generates the code.

The controller has 16 configurable I/O that can interface with common sensors and actuators, as well as supporting RS-232/485 communications and, optionally, CANbus.

An expansion connector will allow modules to be added easily in the future, allowing the system to grow with users' needs. Planned modules include a pH meter with dual stepper motor control for water treatment and instrumentation applications, as well as modules offering extra digital and analogue I/O.

Erqos says that by basing the controller on the ESP32 SoC and concentrating on an efficient, scalable design, it has achieved a price point that is “exceptionally low” for an industrial-grade controller, making advanced automation accessible to a wider audience.

Erqos was founded in 2022 by experts in industrial automation, embedded computing and IoT technologies. It is dedicated to providing innovative, user-friendly technologies for the automation and electronics component market, with a focus on no-code programming, end-to-end designs and open architectures.

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