Posts Tagged ‘myDAQ’

While my summer in Austin has come to an end, I am bringing a few new things back to Rose-Hulman. At NIWeek, NI introduced us to the concept of mini systems for the myDAQ. This takes complex engineering problems and places them on a small add on board for the popular device. I wanted to bring one back for Rose-Hulman. What you see here is the myGRID kit, yet to be assembled. The myGRID allows students to explore power engineering and an introduction to smart grid technology. The board plugs into the side of the myDAQ. Students can write control software in LabVIEW to power the houses and  manage the power from the solar array and generator.

For more information on the myDAQ and myGRID check out ni.com/mydaqzone.

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I finally got around to posting the video to youtube. There is some Oscar quality acting by Scott and myself. You should check it out.(Please note: I do not sleep, dance or reenact Dragon Ball Z at work. However, there is a slinky on Scott’s desk that I do sometimes play with. And no, I do not work in marketing.)

Our project did very well. The actual robot is being displayed/demoed today at NI for the final round of judging. The video includes a brief overview of how we build the physical bot and the software (both with Vision Module and without) is posted on the files page.

So a few days ago I mentioned that I was working with another NI employee, Scott, to build a robot out of a myDAQ. Now at NI, we are know for our robots. Well today, I am happy to announce we have it working. Mixing some NI DAQ, NI Vision into the great stew that is LabVIEW, I present the “myDAQ in a Robot”.  Using my Lenovo netbook, the robot can move around the room. The netbook runs a small web server that shows the front panel of the VI. A user can log in and drive the robot and see where it is going using the web cam on my netbook. Total construction cost for the robot is under $20 and it runs fairly simple code. Check the files section for a link to download the VI. A video of it driving around my apartment can be found here or watch it below!

As most of you know, I work at National Instruments! Besides being an awesome place to work, sometimes they like to do internal competitions. This summer the challenge is to create something using the NI myDAQ. NI ran a similar challenge last year and some of the results can be seen in the myDAQ Zone.

I teamed up with another intern, Scott, and we decided to make a robot. Working under a $25 budget, we decided to engineer a robot from some spare parts most people have at home. Using a L293, some duct tape, LEGO wheels (you knew I was going to slip LEGO in somewhere), a hobby motor and gear box, and a box. Using some super glue we stuck most of the parts together. As you can see from the picture we even used a soda can (we recycle at NI) to act as a skid.

We wanted to keep this project “college themed” we “dead bug” soldered the wires to the L293. To keep the myDAQ safe, we put it inside the box. However we still wanted to use the myDAQ and cut a hole in the side to we can still use the DMM. The project uses only 4 digital I/O ports to interface with the L293. The myDAQ uses USB power. To get around this, we have a small battery box to provide the current needed to the motors. Building instructions and pictures will be posted after the competition is complete.

Since the project isn’t due for a few more days, Scott and I plan to add some lights and additional sensors. The myDAQ has the full power of LabVIEW and as a result we can do some cool things. For example, our robot will have a web interface and use my netbook’s camera to navigate. Using the LabVIEW web publishing tool, other employees at NI will be able to log on and control the bot!

Check back later for a video and more pictures! This project has been a blast! For more information on the myDAQ and LabVIEW, check out ni.com.