Sunday, March 5, 2006

Sun Microsystems Unveils "Sun SPOT" Objects for Sensor Networks

Sun Microsystems announced Project Sun Small Programmable Object Technology (Sun SPOT), a battery operated platform for development of wireless sensor networks, robotics and personal consumer electronics.

Powered by a small Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (Java ME) virtual machine written almost entirely in Java, Project Sun SPOT provides a way to build Java-based sensor applications that run directly on the central processing unit (CPU) without any underlying operating system.

Sun said its Project Sun SPOT will dramatically extend the reach of the Java programmer. Near term applications already under development include medical monitoring, package tracking, and interactive home automation. Applications include explorations of swarm intelligence, experimentation with and deployment of mesh networks, custom robotics and the development of new types of gestural interfaces.

A Sun Labs Project Sun SPOT technology evaluation kit will include three Sun SPOTs: two stand-alone devices and one base station. All three Sun SPOTs include a processor board with 32-bit ARM9 CPU, 512 KB RAM and 4MB Flash memory, 2.4 GHz radio and USB interface. Each stand-alone Sun SPOT also includes a 3D accelerometer, temperature and light sensors, 8 tri-color light emitting diodes (LEDs), six analog inputs and 8 general purpose I/O ports for controlling relays, stepper motors and servos. The kit also includes a Java ME virtual machine, NetBeans 5.0 and a USB cable.

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