Apple announced plans to roll out its next generation of industrial microcontrollers to small businesses earlier this year.
The new microcontrollers will come with a range of functions including automation and machine learning, but it is the next generation that is most interesting to Apple’s investors.
Apple announced on Tuesday that it has acquired startup Rethink Robotics, a company that makes custom, low-cost industrial microcontroller boards.
Rethink’s first-generation board, which is available for $15,000, includes a Raspberry Pi 3, an ARM-based Cortex A57 processor and eight microcontrolling modules, the company said in a statement.
The board also includes an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass module, according to the company’s website.
The board has a built-in GPS receiver and an accelerometers, but can also support a host of third-party sensors.
The Rethank Robotics team was founded in 2011 and has been working on custom, high-quality, low cost industrial microprocessor boards.
The company is also working on the Rethinker, an industrial micro processor that can be used in industrial applications, the statement said.
Rekindos CEO, John Rethofs, is a partner at the firm.
Rethos’ microcontroller is built on a Raspberry PI, which means it is compatible with other Raspberry Pi-based boards and processors.
The Rethinks board can be programmed with the Raspberry Pi, allowing users to control it using the Raspberry Pis operating system, Rethins said in the statement.
Apple will use the new Rethiopics board in a new line of industrial-focused commercial machines.
Apple said in November that it would make its next-generation industrial micro controller available to customers in late 2017.