Embedded systems have traditionally been rather resource constrained with respect to memory and CPU
capacity. Thus software for embedded systems has traditionally focused almost exclusively on performance
and less on other qualities such as flexibility. New and much more powerful processors are however becoming
viable also in embedded systems. This enhanced computational capability allows us to focus on more on
flexible software that makes embedded systems interesting also in a pervasive computing context.
There is therefore a need for studying software architectures and software engineering principles
for designing high-performance distributed embedded systems that are also adaptable, maintainable, and
flexible towards new requirements and dynamic environments.
Object technology is seen as a key technology to achieve this goal. The Distributed Objects in
Embedded Systems project has been started to study this field.
The following organizations participate in the project: Cotas A/S, Danfoss A/S, Danfoss Drives A/S, Engineering
College of Aarhus, Mjølner Informatics A/S and University of Aarhus (CfPC).
Our goals are to describe and analyze architectures that are of high quality both with respect to flexibility
and performance; and to construct and evaluate a number of prototypes of these architectures.
Our work is organized around a set of themes. We study requirements and define terminology. We study how
to apply the remote method invocation paradigm to embedded systems. We study different architectures for
communication. We study how distributed embedded systems fit into a pervasive and ubiquitous context.
At the time of writing, results have been reported in the form of a number of technical reports that outlines
terminology, describe and analyze architectural experiments, and describe aspects of specific architectures.
The project has also produced a number of prototypes, that describe various aspects and designs for distributed
embedded systems, including a simple framework for remote method invocation over both the TCP/IP and the
CAN bus. A laboratory for development of CAN based software has been started at University of Aarhus.
It is expected that a number of research papers will be accepted for publication in the near future.