National Instruments (NI) offers a technical approach, a hardware platform, and LabVIEW software to help engineers and researchers test hypotheses, prototype ideas, collect real-time data, and manage complex systems, and the NI product line includes STEM kits for student training.
Many people are unaware that the very popular LEGO MINDSTORMS robots are programmed in the simplified LabVIEW graphical environment developed by National Instruments. LabVIEW is a software package, graphical programming environment, and visual programming language. LabVIEW is a software package, graphical programming environment, and visual programming language.
LabVIEW was released in 1986. as software for collecting data and managing instruments on an Apple Macintosh computer. LabVIEW is now available for MacOS, MS Windows, Linux, Real-Time OS. And LabVIEW itself is available in two versions of the classic LabVIEW and LabVIEW NXG. It should be recalled that in 2013. the developers of the first Estonian satellite, ESTCube-1, also used NI technologies.
To achieve flexibility, NI proposed the concept of modularity measuring devices. According to this concept, the system’s capabilities can be extended with additional modules that run synchronously on one system bus. In 1997, National Instruments, along with other founders, proposed the PXI standard, which stands for PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation. The idea of PXI is a modular system, where the main components are the controller and the chassis, or computer case with the motherboard. All other parts are inserted like expansion cards or expansion modules. A similar concept is integrated into the CompactRIO platform, which is often used to collect data. Even at very fast speeds, such as signal processing at the European Center for Nuclear Research at CERN.
The product range for education purposes from National Instruments:
• NI ELVIS
• NI MyRio
• Analog Discovery
NI ELVIS (NI Engineering Laboratory Virtual Instrumentation Suite) is a learning platform that allows you to learn electronics. For him, various extension modules have been made that allow the use of Elvis such as the Graduate Certificate, Power Electronics, Signal Industry Training Laboratory. The ELVIS base connects devices such as:
- function generator
- waveform generator
- bode analyzer and impedance analyzer
- digital multimeter (DMM)
- signal analyzer (DSA)
- chip programmer
Various extension modules have been developed for ELVIS, which allows the use of Elvis such as mechatronics, power electronics, signal processing, analog and, digital electronics, linear and non-linear control systems, communication systems training laboratory.
USRP (Universal Universal Radio Radio Peripheral) is software-defined radio or software reconfigurable wireless device. It is a radio transmitter / receiver where the software can tune the modulation type, change frequencies, quickly rearrange the system to a new communication standard.
MyRIO is a controller that is often used to control a robot. More than 10,000 educational institutions around the world use MyRIO to train and prepare for robotics competitions, such as (WRO, FIRST), as well as in the Mobile Robotics WorldSkills section. The controller is popular because it has a sufficient number of digital and analog inputs and outputs, a built-in accelerometer, Xilinx FPGA and ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core processor, support for Wi-Fi, USB port. It can be programmed using LabVIEW or C. It is also the “brain” of TETRIX PRIME.
ANALOG DISCOVERY 2
Analog Discovery 2 turns all computers into electrical workstations. This USB-enabled device allows students to create and test analog and digital circuits. In addition to a two-channel oscilloscope at 100 MS / s. The Analog Discovery 2 offers a dual-channel signal generator, a 16-channel logic analyzer, a 16-channel digital pattern generator, a spectrum analyzer, a network analyzer, a voltmeter, and ± 5-volt adjustable DC power supplies.