National Instruments has recently announced their 2011 student design competition to show how students incorporate LabVIEW software into their design project. The competition aims to learn how engineering students are using the LabVIEW graphical development environment to engineer innovative designs. Current projects include designs in the categories of aerospace, biomedical, gaming, green engineering, robotics and structural health. Prizes will be awarded in June with both a Popular Vote and a Critic’s Vote. With the Popular Vote the designer will encourage friends and family to vote for their project. Collecting the most votes will win one of three cash prizes. With the Critic’s Vote, National Instruments will select the top four projects and fly two participants from each project to Austin, Texas, to attend NIWeek 2011, where one project will be announced as the grand prize winner.
The 2010 NI LabVIEW Student Design winners, developed an acoustic network system capable of relaying and executing mission plans from an operator to an autonomous underwater vehicle via underwater transmission. In addition to the communication and localization advancements, the project also incorporates a robust autonomous control algorithm based on modern control theory which is developed and implemented using LabVIEW software. LabVIEW, a graphical programming environment, is used by millions of students, engineers and scientists to develop sophisticated measurement, test, and control systems using intuitive graphical icons and wires that resemble a flowchart.
Students are also encouraged to use the new NI myDAQ, which will provide the ability to prototype systems and analyze circuits outside of the lab environment. One of the many great things about myDAQ is its portability, as it expands upon the possibilities to perform experiments in any environment. For high schools teaching circuit design, signals and systems, and any type of mechanical measurement, myDAQ is the go-to tool. Course syllabus combines a hands-on approach with traditional teaching. Students complete paper and pencil problems reinforced with short breadboarded hands-on exercises, including, circuit measurements (voltage, current, resistance), resistor networks (series, parallel, series & parallel), diode properties and operational amplifier circuits. The recently introduced NI myDAQ Exploration bundle for high schools includes myDAQ units, as well as licenses of LabVIEW, Multisim and Ultiboard.
In closing, to illustrate a creative design project using myDAQ, this individual created a steering wheel game controller, great stuff!.
Author: Jeff Mazzone
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