The University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland has a student technical report (pdf) on using Android in Industrial Automation. More specifically, they have created a spectrum analyser to demonstrate how to interface Android with external hardware.
The report is extremely detailed and describes how to configure the Beagleboard for Android, how to port libusb to Android and there’s even a schematic for the analogue front end.
I particularly like this project because it demonstrates how Android can be used for a much larger range of applications. It’s also great they have documented everything so that other people can more easily create Android embedded projects.
Why use Android rather than other embedded Linux platforms? As the report says…
“You will never find such a rich set of user APIs for Networking, UI, Bluetooth, OpenGL etc. Furthermore, since Android runs on a Linux Kernel, you can still use all your existing native C/C++ projects as you would with any other embedded Linux system.”