Smallest Arduino Pro board brings sensing to the edge

Claimed to be the smallest Arduino board to date, Nicla Sense ME has been created by Arduino Pro and Bosch Sensortec. It makes sensing and intelligence at the edge accessible to all, says Bosch Sensortec.

The Sense ME is the first product in the Nicla family. It combines low-power sensor nodes with the ability to handle AI and machine learning (ML) on the edge. Dimensions are just 22.86 x 22.86mm.

The Nicla Sense ME has a nine degrees of freedom (DoF) smart motion sensor and a 4DoF environmental sensor with AI capabilities. It uses Bosch Sensortec’s BHI260AP artificial intelligence (AI) sensor system with integrated motion sensor, BMM150 magnetometer, BMP390 pressure sensor, and the BME688 four-in-one gas sensor with AI and integrated high linearity and high accuracy pressure, humidity and temperature sensors.

The board can sense and process different types of data on the edge and reduces latency and power consumption for more privacy without minimal bandwidth, says Bosch. Arduino Pro’s Adriano Chinello describes it as “a tiny board with a really great mix of sensors combined with high computational power, opening up a whole new range of applications leveraging on sensor fusion. Smart building automation, mobile and wearable devices, industrial and professional equipment are key targets”.

Power-saving operation and clear programming structure make the small board suitable for research projects, rapid prototyping and development. It is included in the starter kit provided to all teams participating in the Bosch Sensortec’s 2021 IoT Innovation Challenge, an online competition for students.

“Bosch Sensortec’s self-learning AI smart motion sensor, the environmental sensor with AI capabilities and all the other sensors allow a broad range of applications to address the different segments of the IoT market. This way developing intelligent, low-power and scalable edge sensing applications is easier than ever before” says Dr. Stefan Finkbeiner, CEO of Bosch Sensortec.

The Nicla Sense ME can be powered by a battery and used as a complete standalone board, or attached to an Arduino board to expand its capabilities. It is equipped with Arduino’s fast deployment and easy configuration and is also future-proof, says Bosch, as it allows for additional sensors. It is compatible with upcoming Nicla products, as well as the Arduino Pro MKR and Portenta families.

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