Archive for December 2011

Modern FPGAs offer considerable resources for implementing real-time digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms, and the National Instruments LabVIEW FPGA module offers significant...
Check out the winning code from last year’s LabVIEW coding challenge, by Peter_Smith: Are you next?
This is a list of technical LabVIEW Webcasts. They were given at varying times for varied events but the content is all FREE and available for viewing at any time. All the content ...

We hope you had a nice holiday! Our team came across quite a few holiday-inspired applications right before Christmas, like this unique student project that combines NI tools, a Santa robot, and some sweet dance moves.


Weber State University professor Julie McCulley tasked her electronics engineering students with integrating multiple NI myDAQ units into a single project. The goal was to see how NI myDAQ could be used as a teaching and testing device for several electronics engineering technology (EET) courses at Weber State University.


The students used LabVIEW to program the entire project from reading media files to controlling the digital outputs on the NI myDAQ for the lights. They were able to use NI myDAQ as a control and test instrument, which made development and debugging for the project very fast.


Check out the video:




>> See how more students are using NI myDAQ on the LabVIEW Student Community



We've recently released another LabVIEW app for the iPad -- LabVIEW Intro -- which is great for those just learning the basics of graphical programming with LabVIEW.


Using a bridge structural health monitoring scenario as a backdrop for teaching the basics, it walks you through an example virtual instrument you could build in LabVIEW and then use to monitor bridges. The interactive guide is the perfect tool for learning about the fundamental building blocks of LabVIEW, from front panel indicators to block diagram structures. It also includes three introductory videos.


> Download the LabVIEW Intro iPad app here.



NI has just released a free LabVIEW app for iPads and Android tablets -- the NI Data Dashboard for LabVIEW.

The Data Dashboard for LabVIEW lets you create a custom, portable tablet view of your LabVIEW applications by displaying the values of network-published shared variables and web services on charts, gauges, text indicators and LEDs. With the Dashboard, you can now use your iPad or Android tablet to...


·    Connect to String, Boolean, or Numeric data types

·    Create user-panel layouts of one, two, four, or six indicators

·    Swipe between multiple pages

·    Double tap to enlarge any indicator

    ...and more.


> Learn more at ...or go straight to the app download for your iPad here or Android device here.

NI engineer and community member RoboticsME built a robot with the LabVIEW RoboticsStarter Kit that can better maneuver around obstacles with the help of Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect.


The LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit is an out-of-the-box mobile robot platform complete with sensors, motors, and NI Single-Board RIO hardware for embedded control. RoboticsME attached a Kinect to the robot's upper body with a time-of-flight camera to get a 3D image of its surroundings. The Kinect can see objects in the robot’s surrounding, such as chair legs, but it cannot see objects in close proximity. That’s where the robot’s built-in sonar sensors come in. They can sense objects that are in close proximity to the robot, like in the robot’s blind spot.


RoboticsME used FitPC running Windows Embedded 7 and LabVIEW Robotics to collect and process Kinect data while the LabVIEW FPGA Module collects and processes the sonar data. The LabVIEW Real-Time Module fuses the data from the Kinect and the sonar sensor and performs obstacle avoidance.


>> Check out a video of the robot in action and download the code here.

Using only a Microsoft Kinect, a laptop, and LabVIEW, BYU-Idaho undergraduate engineering students Kevin Smith and Bryce Perry built an application that acts as a virtual whiteboard. The Kinect depth sensor tracks where a person is in the field and overlays it on the video image.



The user can easily change the color of the drawing, clear the whiteboard, and edit the threshold for picking up where to draw based on the size of the room. As shown in the video, the system can easily handle multiple users drawing at the same time, and any object can be used as a stencil.


The best part? It only took Smith and Perry about two hours to get a working prototype of the system, and about six more hours to fine-tune the whiteboard to the point seen in the video.


>> Read about another application that uses LabVIEW and Kinect.

More holiday fun! See how some students made Santa dance using NI MyDAQ and LabVIEW:

Community: Sweet Apps: Students Make Santa Dance Using NI myDAQ and LabVIEW
The day to expand your coding footprint has arrived! You can now submit code for the 2011 LabVIEW Coding Challenge.

Community: Group: LabVIEW Code Challenge Winter 2011-2012