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Android The Military United States

DARPA Unveils an Android-Based Ground Sensor Device 28

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-detecting-time dept.
DeviceGuru writes "DARPA announced a sensor reference system device based on a new Android-based sensor processing core called the ADAPTable Sensor System (a.k.a. ADAPT). The initial ADAPT reference device, called UGS (unattended ground sensor), is designed as the basis for a series of lower-cost, more upgradable sensor devices for military applications. The ADAPT program is part of larger effort by the U.S. military to reduce the costs and speed production schedules for military equipment, using an ODM process similar to that of the commercial smartphone industry. Potential applications for the technology include swarms of hive-mind UAVs or robots, or perimeter security sensors hidden at a deployed airfield or underground, all networked together and capable of transmitting video."
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DARPA Unveils an Android-Based Ground Sensor Device

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  • Why Android?

    I mean I'm a big proponent of embedded Linux, but I just can't understand why every big company or government that deals with embedded devices wants Java on there. I understand the need for high level APIs and using common systems, but still. Android is a monster designed for tablets and phones. If you stripped out the UI you wouldn't really have android any more. You'd just have an embedded Linux platform with a few Java APIs on top.

    That isn't to say Android is useless. It's designed for t

    • by stenvar (2789879) on Friday May 31, 2013 @04:33AM (#43870157)

      They want a mainstream, widely used platform for the developer, tool, and libraray support. They don't want to use C/C++ as their primary language (but have the option of using it when necessary). For R&D, an embedded UI is useful. For audio and video applications, they need an ARM chip anyway (as opposed to a smaller, cheaper embedded chip). And Android is actually optimized for long battery life, audio, video, and sensing (since that's what phones do). Realistically, what other choices are there?

    • by citizenr (871508)

      You might programming to the metal would be better for military, but they are targeting upgradability. They want to be able to load same "apps" on different platforms without recompilation.

    • by gtall (79522)

      The reason agile isn't used is because it doesn't work with security very well. You must establish high level security properties and track them down to low level enforcement mechanisms. Agile says to build essentially a dirty snowball and when you are done, you will have no clue as to what security is actually provided except some ad hoc mechanisms thrown into an ad hoc design.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      I mean I'm a big proponent of embedded Linux, but I just can't understand why every big company or government that deals with embedded devices wants Java on there. I understand the need for high level APIs and using common systems, but still. Android is a monster designed for tablets and phones. If you stripped out the UI you wouldn't really have android any more. You'd just have an embedded Linux platform with a few Java APIs on top.

      That isn't to say Android is useless. It's designed for tables, phones, an

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Android is safer than Linux because you can set permissions on a per-app basis.

  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Friday May 31, 2013 @04:59AM (#43870245)

    Linked articles not very informative...one of the many SoCs available, I suppose. A little more info here, but not much.

    http://www.darpa.mil/NewsEvents/Releases/2013/05/29.aspx [darpa.mil]

    Not sure why they need the Android layer; what does that bring above the many distros already available? (Thinking of things like Pi, Arduino...)

    What next, DARPA play store?

    BTW, for those of you wondering, ODM=Original Design Manufacturers...

  • A Ground Sensor is pretty cool. Now, if they could get a Voltage Sensor too, each Android could store a single bit! Watch out human race, here we come!

  • Stalin would be jealous
  • we've been selling one for years. You can get one for between $50 and $150, or build your own since it's actually open hardware. http://robots-everywhere.com/site/data-loggers/thalamoid/ [robots-everywhere.com]
  • This appears to be what has happened to the systems I worked on back in 1972-1973 while in the Air Force in Thailand. Back then the "ground sensors" were air dropped (mostly) devices that had seismic sensors to detect movement on the Ho Chi Minh trail. There were also types that sensed audio and some other types too, but the majority were ADSIDS which were seismic. They were built with discrete components and some RTL IC technology. There were no microprocessors then and the computer that received the o

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