Posts Tagged ‘National Instruments’

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What happens when you get National Instruments, Intel, Xilinx, Texas Instruments and other leading tech companies to put on a show in Austin, Texas? NIWeek of course. Over 3,300 engineers and scientists decent on Austin for a week of learning and fun.

From life sized “Angry Eagles” to a full spacecraft to tornado chasers, NIWeek is full of innovative products that will shape the world of tomorrow. From automated test to rocket science to the renewable energy, what is being discussed and learned at this event is interesting to all.

Today started with a keynote overing some new products including a new Single-Board RIO, multicore CompactRIO, Wireless DAQ and more. Some of the coolest demos showed how NI hardware can be used in a transmission dyno and a smart grid setup. Today NI also demoed the first off the shelf LTE Advanced (like LTE but faster, say 1 gigabit per second) system. Day two will be even more exciting!

The LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle is gearing up for NIWeek and to get ready for the event, I have developed a new debug interface. Originally designed for me to keep track of all the motors and sensors during an event, this interface serves as Mission Control for the LMS Shuttle. It provides the ability to stop a program should the conditions get too dangerous as well as view real time data off each NXT. The “guts” of this interface have been around for a while but I decided to clean up the UI for NIWeek.

I plan to continue to develop this screen by adding the ability to switch from remote control to autonomous mode and add some manual drive features.

This Monday kicks off NIWeek 2011 in Austin, Texas. Over 3000 engineers, scientists and hobbyists will descend on the Austin Convention Center. This year features some amazing projects (including the LEGO MINDSTORMS Space Shuttle). With a market that ranges from LEGO MINDSTORMS to the CERN Large Hadron Collider, National Instruments products are used in some truly amazing ways.  I will be posting live from the keynotes, expo floor and Graphical System Design Achievement Awards. Hopefully you can catch a glimpse of where technology is going and how we are getting there. Stay tuned for more information. NIWeek is a lot of fun!

If you want to get involved via facebook or twitter, use “#niweek” and check out ni.com/community for more details!

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!