Archive for the ‘customer_application’ Category

Bipedal humanoid robots have been around for over 30 years, but developing and implementing intelligent motion algorithms to keep their moves from looking Frankenstein-esque have remained a challenge. Using NI hardware, LabVIEW, and third-party add-ons, a team of engineers at the Temasek Polytechnic School of Engineering have built a teenager-sized humanoid robot with a smooth gait.

 

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The project focused on developing a user-friendly graphical interface to implement motion control algorithms. Engineers used LabVIEW to create control software that students used to easily develop and debug the program, and they’re going to be able to flexibly adapt and redeploy the program in the future on other robotics projects. PXI-8101 was the main system controller and students programmed wireless LAN using the LabVIEW Internet Toolkit. The LabVIEW MathScript RT Module executed The MathWorks, Inc. MATLAB® code to generate gait trajectory.

 

LabVIEW reduced development time to one semester, made it possible to perform motion simulation with SolidWorks, and executed code created with MATLAB. The bipedal humanoid robot made its debut at the SRG 2014 Singapore Robotics Games.

 

>> Read the full case study.

We may be nearing the end of the line for diesel buses in the United Kingdom as hybrid powertrains take the road. Vantage Power, a company specializing in electric and hybrid systems for buses and heavy-duty vehicles, has developed a hybrid powertrain that cuts fuel use by 40 percent. This makes it the most energy-efficient hybrid bus on UK roads.

 

 

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Vantage Power made CompactRIO the core of the hybrid vehicle control system. CompactRIO controlled each power delivery component and analyzed and logged large sets of acquired data. Vantage Power also used LabVIEW to implement an advanced Kalman filter algorithm, which provided crucial onboard estimation functions for battery charge state, health, and thermal management.

 

The hybrid bus has passed all required tests and is currently beginning trials in a public service fleet in the UK. This hybrid bus is driving change on the road and turning our lines green.

 

>> Read the full case study.

Before pharmaceutical goods reach consumers, they must be identified and verified. Invasive practices are currently used to inspect materials, increasing cost and making quality control a challenge. To eliminate these problems, Cobalt Light Systems Limited (CLS) developed RapID SORS, a portable instrument capable of identifying raw materials in five to ten seconds.

 

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The instrument uses a new technique called Spatially Offset Raman Spectroscopy (SORS) to quickly probe and identify the content in containers such as plastic, multi-layer paper sacks, and glass bottles. The RapID hardware platform is powered by LabVIEW and third-party specialized Raman spectroscopy component instrument drivers. CLS also developed the user interface with LabVIEW.

 

RapID can verify a wide range of materials. The user simply pushes the probe tip against the container and pulls the trigger, getting results in seconds. Plastic, glass, and non-transparent containers don’t stand a chance against RapID SORS!

 

>> Read the full case study.

What to do when a complex, custom piece of medical testing equipment needs a new PC but isn’t compatible with the latest Windows OS? Turn to LabVIEW, of course!


Years ago, the University of Waterloo’s Kinesiology Department built a system that simulates the forces our spinal columns undergo. Using a two-axis motion control card and an NI multifunction PCI DAQ board, the system subjects spinal column samples to compression, rotation, and torsional forces.


Essentially, the system allows us to see what our spines go through on an everyday basis, and which forces could cause injuries like painful herniated disks.

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Recently, the university realized the system’s PC was old and slow, but the existing software was incompatible with new Windows software. Waterloo turned to Enable Integration, an NI Alliance Partner with 60 years of combined experience with NI products. Enable recommended LabVIEW, since it would allow the university to reuse the custom routines they’d written for their motion control board—saving Waterloo time and money.


Since the team implemented LabVIEW, the testing system has a new and improved GUI, a simplified control panel, and the ability to expand in the future. Sounds like a win to us!


>> Check out another medical LabVIEW app.

Laparoscopic surgeries use small incisions and video equipment to perform operations without the cutting and trauma typically associated with surgery. This method reduces damage to healthy tissue, which is great, but also means that surgeons can’t physically feel the area they’re operating on. 


The Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology created a tactile display system to give doctors their sense of touch back. Using NI LabVIEW software, NI PXI-6259, and springs, researchers reproduced the stiffness and shapes of real objects and created a control system to analyze and display the tactile readings.lvnoctcasestudy.jpg

The tactile system uses two shape memory alloy (SMA) springs to mimic objects with varying shapes and stiffness. Then the pins in a 5x5 matrix detect the displacement and stiffness of the springs as variables.


The control system uses LabVIEW to gather data every 50ms, so the team used the PXI-6259 DAQ device to handle the huge amount of data moving back and forth. An Arduino kit and power source amplified the control output in order to create the high current required to move the SMA springs.

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This groundbreaking solution addresses one of the challenges of laparoscopic surgery and could be used in mobile applications or virtual reality environments as well as surgical operations.


>> Find out more about this application.

Most of us know that Muhammad Ali and Michael J. Fox have Parkinson’s disease, which leads to shaking and difficulty with movement. Each year, more than 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with this neurological disorder. What you might not know is that detecting Parkinson’s is very complex, especially in the early stages of the disease.


Norconnect, Inc. set out to build a system that could algorithmically determine if subjects have Parkinson’s disease. Using NI LabVIEW and a USB-6008 data acquisition device, they built a system that detects Parkinson’s based on electromyogram (EMG) signals from hand muscles during handwriting.

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The system works with gel surface EMG electrodes. These electrodes are placed in predetermined locations on the hands, and gloves hold the electrodes in place. Subjects then write on a tablet for a predetermined amount of time, during which the USB DAQ devices collects data and LabVIEW analyzes the data.


The system’s analytical program was built in LabVIEW and evaluates muscle activity during the controlled handwriting movements. LabVIEW’s intuitive graphical programming features enabled the team to develop a GUI for data collection within minutes. This statistical software is the defining differentiator between Norconnect’s system and others on the market.


Today, the system is used in medical centers and university athletic departments, and the Norconnect team presented their results at an international conference in Florence, Italy.


>> Learn more about using LabVIEW on a tablet.