If you’ve messed with Arduino, the inexpensive micro controller, you’ll know that you can run a small motor or turn an LED on and off, but anything else – powering a pump, turning on a light bulb – usually ends up in sadness and smoke. That’s where the Controllino comes in.
Created by an engineer named Marco Riedesser, the board has CE-rated relays and controls that can handle heavy voltages as well as connect to standard Arduino shields. In other words, you can not only produce small projects – micro robots, etc – but you can expand the projects to control larger motors and lights.
“I had to repair the coffee machine for my brother-in-law,” said Riedesser. “I thought it would be easy to use Arduino but there was nothing on the market that could handle switching high voltage and high current. So I thought I had to come forward with a product.”
One board costs $129 and he’s trying to raise $100,000. Unfortunately it’s such a specific use case that I’m not sure how far it will go, but it’s a great idea for folks who might want to add a little high voltage to their DIY products. It has 250V / 5A Relays Outputs, 2A Digital Outputs, and Digital/Analog inputs and outputs, just like a regular Arduino, but everything is amped up. He’s also creating a MAXI version of the board with more inputs for $169 and a Mega unit for $269.
Riedesser is going to UL and CE certify his product so you can use it in actual, shipping hardware – a coffee maker, say or drone – and he’s coming in much cheaper than any other product on the market. It’s an interesting niche to be sure and at least this board won’t explode if you plug it into a wall socket.