UniPi was established as a subsidiary of Faster.cz company that has been in business since 1994. We focus on smart building solutions, home automation and IoT. Our goal is to show people that smart solutions can be affordable, yet effective and user-friendly. It’s not only the matter of well-off people anymore. High tech solutions nowadays can help you SAVE your money. With unstoppable technological progress more and more possibilities are available. Our company wants to bring solutions which are not only compatible with older systems, but also benefit from them by using smart automatic control. Automatic regulation of energy consumption will help to increase the comfort and to save energy - thereby, it also protects the environment.
Roots of UniPi.technology can be traced back to 1994. In this year, the Faster CZ company was established. During preparations to move into the current residency, a vision of an economical datacenter control and regulation system was created. Our goal was to create a technological solution, that would allow us to control and regulate all aspects of the datacenter (cooling, energy supply and regulation, lightning, air conditioning etc.) as economical and simple as possible. In the 2013, we thus started the development of our own system, utilizing open-source platform in the highest possible extent.
The Raspberry Pi, when introduced, represented a small revolution. The requirement for its development was to create so-called credit-sized computer - literally a computer with the size of a credit card. Raspberry Pi is thus a fully-fledged computer despite its minute size. It can be used as any other personal computer, has a great performance for its dimensions and also has the advantage of low purchase cost. Our project was then reworked to integrate the Raspberry Pi, which became the basis of all of our subsequent work.
The result of our effort was the UniPi 1.1. In its core, it was only an extension to the Raspberry Pi, providing it with "eyes, ears and limbs". The result was a control unit with 14 digital input modules, 2 analog input modules and one analog output module. In addition, it featured a dedicated EEPROM memory chip, a 1-Wire low-speed data bus, and a full compatibility with both Raspberry Pi B and B+ variants. The UniPi 1.1 was the direct predecessor of the UniPi Neuron Unit, and although any further development was eventually halted, the unit itself will be for sale at least until 2020.
The UniPi 1.1 was then offered on the Indiegogo crowdfunding portal with the goal to collect at least €3000 needed for further development. In the end, we exceeded the goal more than twofold - we sold around 60 units and total sum collected was €7237. Originally, we offered the unit primarily on e-shops, but the success allowed us to start the wholesale.
Based on our experience with development and sale of the UniPi 1.1, the unit underwent an extensive overhaul, creating a second generation - the UniPi Neuron. Compared to the 1.1 variant, the Neuron has a number of striking advantages. It can be extended by additional extension modules, has a fully modular construction and in contrast to its predecessor, all components are encased within a durable aluminium chassis. The S103 model which is the basis for the whole Neuron line-up, offers 4 digital input modules, 4 digital output modules, one analog output and input module and also a single RS485 universal bus connector.
The OEM variant of the Neuron gave customers a possibility to customize the Neuron according to their specific needs and without requirement to spend money on development. The customer could now create his or her own design and/or custom I/O module architecture. Alternatively, a high degree of modularity allowed us to offer a custom development of new functions.
Only a few months after the introduction of the Neuron OEM, we introduced the Neuron 500 line, currently the most popular model. The line, consisting of the M503, L503 and L513 models, offers up to 9 analog input modules, 9 analog output modules and up to 3 RS485 universal bus connector, depending on the specific model chosen.