Archive for the ‘labview_case_study’ Category

The level of hazard for all radioactive nuclear waste diminishes with time, so to protect public health and the environment it’s important to construct containers that won’t fall apart as they age. In order to develop a measurement system to provide insight on long-term nuclear storage, ProtoRhino researched copper cracking mechanisms using FlexRIO and LabVIEW.

 

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ProtoRhino used FlexRIO and LabVIEW to measure the mechanics of copper cracking under stress in a millisecond timescale. The nuclear waste containers must last 10,000 years and retain their integrity under geological stress and corrosion. LabVIEW was used to program the FPGA. The FlexRIO was used for image processing and the collection of data generated from testing the copper’s deformation under stress. By monitoring the cracks in the copper, ProtoRhino may soon be able to find a safe nuclear waste container, which is key to environmental protection and pollution prevention.

 

>> Read the full case study.

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.

Regulating indoor temperature seems as easy as pushing a button on your thermostat, but it involves multiple systems working together to get the job done. If you’ve ever had your air conditioning break in the middle of summer, you know how uncomfortable it can be when these systems fail. To prevent service outages and reduce energy consumption, Danfoss A/S built the world’s first test center for indoor climate products.

 

 

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Danfoss A/S designed and built a control and data acquisition system using NI CompactDAQ, CompactRIO, and LabVIEW. They used the NI CompactDAQ platform as the backbone of the system due to its flexibility and Ethernet connectivity. By creating a new LabVIEW test framework, Danfoss A/S constructed a test solution that supports new devices. The test center is capable of controlling and monitoring both energy generators (heat pumps, gas boilers) and heat emitters (radiators, floor heating) as well as controlling the simulated outdoor environment in a climate room.

 

The test center will allow Danfoss A/S to continue producing reliable energy products. A new solution for cooling or heating your home might be right around the corner.

 

>> Read the full case study.

Unmanned vehicles are extremely useful in situations that are dangerous for human operators. The ILX-27 is an unmanned helicopter designed to support special military operations. The helicopter’s applications include reconnaissance, cargo transportation, and evacuations, but before the ILX-27 can answer the call of duty it must first pass a series of ground and flight tests.

 

The Institute of Aviation (ILOT) designed the ILX-27 in cooperation with the Air Force Institute of Technology and Military Aviation Works. After the helicopter was built, engineers working on the project needed to create a test system to obtain reliable data retrieved from ground and flight tests.

 

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ILOT used NI LabVIEW, DIAdem, and CompactRIO to create a measurement system that managed the helicopter’s construction and monitoring. ILOT used CompactRIO as the main data recorder and DIAdem to store measurement data obtained from the tests.  

 

Engineers used LabVIEW to monitor the vibration levels of multiple helicopter parts under inspection and control the parts in case of an emergency. For ILOT, LabVIEW facilitated data analysis and the presentation of results, leaving time for the company to concentrate their efforts on the helicopter tests.


ILOT achieved the overarching goal of the project performing ground and flight tests of the ILX-27 on a proving ground. But testing on the ILX-27 isn’t done quite yet. NI’s flexible hardware gave ILOT the tools to further expand the trajectory of the project. The company plans on adding a module to the helicopter rotor head to gain insight on the dynamics of ILX-27.

 

>> Read another blog post involving unmanned vehicles.

 

Many areas of Africa lack affordable, reliable motorized transport. In these areas, pedestrians often carry commercial and domestic goods, such as water, firewood, and crops, on their heads. This practice, known as head-loading, is an exhausting task predominantly performed by women and children.

 

 

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Of the estimated 750 million women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa, the majority will carry heavy loads (more than 40 kg/88 lb for adult females) on their heads. Thus, head-loading represents a huge potential public health issue in Africa. Despite this, the long-term impacts on maternal health, quality of life, labor productivity, and life expectancy have largely gone unrecognized and unstudied. Until now!

 

NI Alliance Partner Key Engineering Solutions Ltd partnered with engineers and product design students from the University of Leeds to develop a wearable measurement device for a head-loading study. The resulting device, the intelligent load orientation assessment device (iLOAD), uses accelerometers, gyroscopes and GPS positioning to provide measurement feedback. The team used LabVIEW to develop an intuitive user interface, establish wireless connectivity to the iLOAD using Bluetooth, and stream measurement data from iLOAD.

 

 

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Results from the study will be published in international journals. Using this data, researchers can help make this essential means of goods transportation a safer practice for the millions of African women and children who do it every day.

 

>> Read the full case study.

Nuclear power plants are one of the world’s major sources of energy. In 2012, 12.3% of total electricity came from nuclear power plants. However, these plants can also be incredibly hazardous. Nuclear decommissioning, the process of dismantling defunct nuclear facilities, is dangerous due to high radiation and other factors such as heat, humidity, and caustic fumes.

 

One solution is to use remote handling techniques, such as operating a robotic manipulator. However, many robotic manipulators can’t handle nuclear decommissioning tasks because of the design of the devices. Using NI LabVIEW system design software and NI CompactRIO hardware, James Fisher Nuclear Ltd (JFN) developed a safe, modular arm that operates with maximum dexterity to navigate in harsh environments.

 

 

With the help of LabVIEW, JFN created a valuable tool that can solve many nuclear decommissioning challenges around the world. The robotic arm is safe, reliable, and versatile. Most importantly, it minimizes the risks for human operators working in a harsh environment.

 

>> Read the full case study. 

For many, the gym’s weight training area is an intimidating place. Because it’s often crowded with intense bodybuilders and pieces of equipment that look like an injury waiting to happen, it’s easy to choose the more user-friendly stationary bike. Professional trainers can show you how to lift weights properly, but training sessions are typically expensive. Luckily, a student from Ireland may have solved this problem.

Martin O’Reilly developed a resistance training biofeedback system and virtual strength and conditioning trainer application for his final year project at NUI Galway. After noticing many issues that currently exist in resistance training, O’Reilly realized he might be able to combine LabVIEW coding, kinematic sensors, and his knowledge of sports science to develop a system that helps a user safely and effectively train towards their fitness goals.

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So how does the system work? The user wears Shimmer 9DOF sensors that stream to a LabVIEW application using Bluetooth. The application then acts as the user’s personal strength and conditioning trainer by guiding them through goal-specific exercise routines, providing them with real-time feedback on their training technique, and offering them long-term feedback and motivation towards their overall training goal. Plus, it tells the user exactly how to complete the exercise to reduce the risk of injury.

The system has been tested on 20 users (10 elite athletes and 10 less-experienced resistance training participants) with results showing a great improvement in exercise technique. In the future, O’Reilly plans to “make the sensor set suitable for all users in all environments”--  no more excuses for skipping your workout!

>> Read the full case study.

When assessing someone’s health, medical personnel measure vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. Though you may not have heard of it before, respiratory rate (RR) is possibly the most crucial, because it’s one of the key predictors of injury severity.

 

However, accurate measurement is essential. The two main options for RR measurement are manual observation, which is prone to error, and capnography, which is invasive. Researchers at the Institute of Space Science in Malaysia set out to build a system that was accurate, fast, and completely non-invasive.

 

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They built a contactless RR measurement system using an optical displacement sensor and LabVIEW. Basically, they shine a laser at a subject’s chest. The light reflects back to a sensor, which measures how the light moves as the chest moves during breathing. They used LabVIEW to visualize the signals, calculate RR in real time, and store the data for later analysis.  

 

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>> Read the full case study here.