The availability of programmable and reconfigurable ultrasound (US) research platforms may have a considerable impact on the advancement of ultrasound systems technology; indeed, they allow novel transmission strategies or challenging processing methods to be tested and experimentally refined. In this paper, the ULtrasound Advanced Open Platform (ULA-OP), recently developed in our University laboratory, is shown to be a flexible tool that can be easily adapted to a wide range of applications. Five nonstandard working modalities are illustrated. Vector Doppler and quasi-static elastography applications emphasize the real-time potential and versatility of the system. Flow-mediated dilation, pulse compression, and high-frame-rate imaging highlight the flexibility of data access at different points in the reception chain. For each modality, the role played by the onboard programmable devices is discussed. Experimental results are reported, indicating the relative performance of the system for each application.