National Instruments are the makers of the myDAQ and LabVIEW software and they have a sort of “think-tank” called Waterloo Labs. Waterloo Labs is the name of a group of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, application engineers, etc. who all use the LabView and myDAQ products to really push the limits of what can be done with the National Instruments software and hardware. Click here to view the Waterloo Labs website.
On their website, you will be able to watch videos of the crazy projects that they come up with. Fortunately for all of us, they also post videos that show and describe how they accomplished their incredibly fun and unique projects. Waterloo Labs is a great website because it really shows you the limitless possibilities of the National Instruments products. For instance, one of their main videos is how to drive your car using an iphone only. All of the hardware and programming necessary for such a task was completely done with LabView. Their website is a good tool for instructors and students because their extreme and quirky projects catch your attention right away and get you interested in coming up with an idea that is equally as fun and creative. It pushes your students and yourself, as an instructor, to think outside the box and come up with your own ideas that will push your knowledge of electrical engineering and the National Instruments products.
The people at Waterloo Labs also post their videos on www.k12lab.com. The great thing about this is that they can post lesson plans for instructors. So if they come up with a great lesson plan for one of their challenges, then they will post it on K12lab and anybody can download it and check it out. If you like it, you can run through it with your students and see if you can replicate their accomplishment or maybe even put your own spin on it. Not all of their projects have lesson plans yet, but as Waterloo Labs expands on their work, I suspect we will see more lesson plans made available through k12lab.com.
That’s about all there is to it. Go check it out at www.waterloolabs.com and get inspired!
Author: Mark Philipp
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