Project AKO is system of hardware and software to allow the rapid prototyping and development of various applications. Although originally targeted at robotics applications, AKO is applicable to many other control or data acquisition scenarios.
AKO utilizes a distributed network of microcontrollers running over a small area network (SAN), the AKONET. These microcontrollers, known as components in AKO terminology, provide basic control and data acquisition capabilities. A more powerful central control unit coordinates the actions of the components.
AKO was originally developed as an undergraduate senior design project at the University of Texas of Arlington. The project was awarded the Outstanding Senior Design Project for 1999-2000 by the Computer Science and Engineering Department. Continued AKO development is being done by two of the original team members, Chris McFarlen and Geoffrey Wossum. The software portions of AKO are now licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Although a fully working prototype was produced as a result of the senior design project, many parts of the system are currently being reworked. Therefore, a "works out of the box" AKO system is not available at this time. This is an eventual goal of the project, however.