Atlas is a new breed of computers known as the sensor platform, which are to sensors and devices what home computers are to printers, scanners, or digital cameras. By seamlessly connecting devices to the network, Atlas delivers embedded hardware as a software service to the developer. These services can then be combined to create a vast array of applications and solutions.
Atlas follows a modular design offering maximum flexibility, adaptability and return on investment. An Atlas node consists of several (typically three) layers connected using two board-to-board connectors. Wi-Fi, ZigBee, USB, and Ethernet communication layers are currently available. The processing layer is a low power Atmel Atmega128L microcontroller supported by a 32K extended external memory. Several device connector layers offer physical connectivity to a large variety of sensors, actuators and devices.
Atlas is not only hardware; it is a middleware residing on the Atlas nodes and in the network. Based on the OSGi standard, Atlas offers the magic of plug & play to the widest array of sensors and devices. It does so by automating the sensor-to-service (hardware-to-software) conversion.
The net effect of using Atlas for device and sensor integration is that the developer integrates the device only once (through Atlas) and deploys everywhere.