Embedded Systems denotes invisible modular systems that are combined to form complex higher-order systems and are used, e.g., in motor vehicles, airplanes, "intelligent" buildings or home multimedia systems. Advanced applications in these fields require to network growing numbers of devices, typically from more than just a few manufacturers.
Given the plethora of heterogeneous devices, sensors and actuators in the field, the large number of manufacturers and the differences in their speed of innovation, there is an urgent need for technologies and tools that make it easier to reap the benefits of networked systems. And the complexity to build such technologies and tools grows exponentially with the number of devices, manufacturers and protocols involved.
For this envisioned situation in the field of "Networked Embedded System", the European Hydra project develops a "Middleware for Heterogeneous Physical Devices". It will help manufacturers and systems integrators to build devices that can be networked easily and flexibly to create cost-effective high performance solutions. The results of the Hydra project will reduce design complexity by providing well-defined open interfaces between types of devices. For field-test and validation of the Hydra middleware, three application fields have been chosen: management of intelligent buildings, health care, and agriculture.
Fraunhofer FIT coordinates the Hydra project and is furthermore in charge of system design and software architecture. We also have a key role in the scenario-based requirements analysis, and are responsible for mapping the requirements from embedded device architecture, networks, MDA and security / trust onto the architecture.