Mosaic Industries, Inc.

Jan. 11, 2007
Mosaic introduces hand-held data acquisition, control platform

Mosaic Industries introduced the Mosaic Handheld, a smart platform for designing a custom portable intrument. The Mosaic Handheld is said to be ideal for prototyping and manufacturing portable instruments for robotics, process control, data logging, data acquisition and sensor calibration.

When designing a new portable device, the job of integrating the battery charger, switching power supplies, user interface, embedded computer and board-to-board interconnects in a compact enclosure consumes a huge amount of engineering effort. The Mosaic Handheld solves all these problems, reducing the time to market and providing an elegant platform that allows OEMs to concentrate on their application.

The Mosaic Handheld integrates a graphics display, keypad with customizable overlay, processor, memory, analog and digital I/O, serial communications, an expansion I/O bus, rechargeable batteries, power conditioning and battery charger circuitry in a handheld enclosure. A DB-25 connector at the bottom of the instrument allows the user to connect external signals to the instrument. A built-in Personality Board makes it easy to route internal and external I/O and data signals inside the instrument, and includes a prototyping area to simplify the addition of custom circuitry. Up to 4 I/O expansion modules, including Ethernet, can be plugged inside the instrument to customize the Handheld for a particular application. The plastic enclosure is reportedly small enough to fit comfortably in a hand but large enough to hold custom circuitry, sensors and actuators.

Combining a high-contrast 3.4-in diagonal display and 4 column by 8 row keypad, the Mosaic Handheld comes with software that makes it easy to control your application using menus, graphs, and bitmapped images. The Processor Board inside the Handheld hosts a 16 MHz Motorola 68HC11F1 microprocessor, 512K Flash and 128K RAM (expandable to 1 MB Flash and 512K RAM), and 320 bytes of EEPROM. On-board I/O includes 8 digital I/O lines with counter/timer capabilities, 8 analog inputs, a fast synchronous SPI serial interface, and dual RS232/485 ports. An optional real-time clock tracks the calendar and time of day and battery backs the 128K RAM.

The Handheld can operate up to 10 hours on its six rechargeable batteries. For non-battery applications it can be powered with 15 to 26 V DC via the power jack or through the DB25 connector on the bottom of
the unit.