Farnell adds MKR shields to Arduino line

The ENV Shield, RGB Shield and Therm Shield have a standard, modular design and are powered by a 32-bit Arm microcontroller. Integrated connectivity is Wi-Fi, GSM, NB-IoT, SigFox or LoRa.

The Arduino MKR ENV (Environmental) Shield measures 61mm x 25mm and an input voltage of 3.3V. It is used to allow an MKR board to gather and store environmental information from pressure, temperature, humidity, light intensity and ultraviolet intensity (UVA and UVB) sensors. A microSD card reader and library programmed to read values from different sensors is also included.

The RGB Shield is a development board that allows users to write message and add graphics from an MKR board. It is equipped with 84 LEDs for full RGB colour and can be plugged onto an MKR board without requiring soldering or special adapters. It measures 61.5mm x 27mm and has a 5V input and maximum current of 2.5V. The shield is controlled from the Arduino IoT cloud.


The Therm Shield has the same dimensions as the environmental shield and an input of 3.3V. It operates at high temperatures (200oC to 700oC) to provide an extended range of temperatures from a type K thermocouple and a DS18Bxx digital one-wire sensor. The thermocouple can be used with or without a plug attached to the metal wires, using two connectors. There is also a MAX31855 thermocouple digital interface.

Finally, the Arduino MKR Motor Carrier can be used with the MKR boards for prototyping. It can be used to connect up to four motors and sensors to control servo, DC and stepper motors as well as connect actuators and sensors using the three-pin male headers.

Hari Kalyanaraman, global head of SBCs for Farnell, said that the configurations were designed for developers and makers developing IoT applications across a variety of IoT projects, including industrial. “With a versatile mix of wireless connectivity and sensor options, the MKR series provides flexibility for engineers and makers looking to develop and deploy IoT applications easily using the Arduino ecosystem,” he said.