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Uniti Announces Arduino-Compatible Electric Vehicle Board

Gareth Halfacree

Uniti Arc

The microcontroller market is flooded with Arduino variants these days, ranging from direct clones to devices for specific purposes such as writing and playing games or controlling a drone. The Uniti Arc, though, is the firs Arduino compatible we've come across designed to drive three-phase electric motors in full-size vehicles.

Built to resemble and include the basic feature set of the popular Arduino Uno, the Uniti Arc is powered by an Atmel ATmega64M1 microcontroller and is claimed to be entirely compatible with and programmable from the Arduino IDE. Where it differs from its inspiration is in its vehicle-specific features: a 12-bit high-speed motor controller for high-power three-phase motors is included as standard, as is a transceiver for the CAN bus used in automotive projects.

To further help makers build vehicle projects, the Arc also includes four analogue comparators and a 10-bit digital to analogue converter - giving the Arduino-alike the ability to output true analogue signals, rather than being restricted to stepped digital outputs such as pulse width modulation (PWM). While designed with the prototyping of electric vehicles in mind, Arc's creators claim it has a wide range of possible use-cases: driving industrial-scale CNC machines, conveyer belts, or robotic arms, and building everything from full-size cars to miniature personalised electric transports.

Uniti is following the Arduino ethos and has promised to release the Arc under an open-source licence, though it has yet to make the files available, while it is also selling the boards directly through its web shop priced at £51.14 excluding taxes with a 10-12 week lead time.

The Arc contributes to building the market for electric vehicles through lowering the entry barriers for entrepreneurs around the world who want to develop a vehicle tailored to their local conditions. This enables developing economies to skip the oil-guzzling phase of transportation which has damaged our planet.

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