Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spreading the word

I always thought that National Instruments were very smart in the way they get their products into the hands of engineering students. It’s such a chore to learn a programming language that most of us would rather only do it once, so by indoctrinating students, NI wins over a large body of disciples who go out into the world each year and lobby their employers to start using LabVIEW.

As evidence to support my thesis I present, “Winning an International Robotics Competition with LabVIEW and NI Machine Vision Hardware,” (undated) published on the National Instruments web site.

This case study describes a project undertaken by students at Fontys University in The Netherlands. The goal was to develop an autonomous vehicle that can drive through a field of corn. The students achieved this by combining the LabVIEW Real-Time Module for motion control with the NI Embedded Vision System. A particularly interesting aspect of the latter was that it used only a single camera to obtain 360 degree situational awareness.

How did they do that? Well you’ll have to read the article to find out, and while you’re at it, I suggest you click through the photo gallery too

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