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Arduino Pro looks to redefine smart agriculture with new Edge Control

Arduino Pro has announced the launch of the Arduino Edge Control, a smart remote solution for monitoring and control, that's been developed to deploy AI on the edge.

Optimised for outdoor environments and easy to place anywhere, this solution is intended for precision farming, smart agriculture, and any application requiring intelligent control in isolated locations.

The Arduino Edge Control can be expanded with 2G, 3G, CatM1, or NB-IoT modems, Lora, Sigfox, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth connectivity and can be managed remotely via the Arduino Cloud or third-party solutions and can be powered via solar panels, which means the Edge Control can be used in the most remote of locations.

The Edge Control connects sensors, provides real-time monitoring and can automatically drive actuators – such as latching valves commonly used in agriculture – reducing production-related risks. Through this advanced solution, smart agriculture sensors are able to collect data about weather conditions, soil quality, crop growth, and more. The data is then sent to the Arduino IoT Cloud, where valuable analytics can be retained to support business at different levels – enabling better decisions about equipment efficiency, plant growth, and staff productivity, or even automating processes such as fertilization, irrigation, and pest control to boost the quality of crops and minimize human error.

During product development, Arduino partnered with Challenge Agriculture to integrate the Edge Control into Irriduo, the French company's smart irrigation solution and water management application, the first in a new generation of water management products.

Combining Challenge Agriculture's R2-DX with the Arduino Edge Control, Arduino MKR GSM1400 for connectivity and firmware, and including access to a dedicated cloud, the Irriduo is able to take a closer look at the soil to actively tell farmers how to achieve the best yield while minimising water consumption and maximizing soil preservation.

Arable farming comes with a set of unique challenges: remote locations, changeable soil conditions based on field topography, and specific crop rotation schedules to mention but a few. Challenge Agriculture and Arduino have worked to create a solution that looks to address these needs, with 6 sensors per field providing accurate readings for 6 crop cycles of 3-4 months each (i.e. 4,000 measurements), or for as long as 4 years in the case of perennial crops.

Irriduo also reacts in real-time to changing conditions, which is especially important in regions suffering from droughts, where strict regulations are enforced to limit the volume of water that can be used and the time of day/night irrigation can be activated.

Commenting on the launch, Arduino’s CEO Fabio Violante said, “People are constantly needing to solve everyday problems and improve productivity through their own creativity and ingenuity, and we truly believe they can do this with the Edge Control. We are ready to help companies take the next step in agricultural automation, providing smart irrigation solutions and the ability to apply machine learning on the edge to optimize crop production and increase yields.”

Neil Tyler

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