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NIWeek 2011

25 Posts authored by: jaking

Did you get a chance to really explore the exhibition hall at NIWeek 2011? If not, watch this video to take an interactive tour of the entire expo floor. Simply click on a pavilion to start exploring and watch videos from demonstrations in that area.





>> Check out more NIWeek 2011 highlights


Last week NI hosted the 17th annual graphical system design conference in Austin, Texas. More than 3,000 engineers and scientists made it down to NIWeek and had the opportunity to network, attend technical presentations, and see NI tools in action.


In case you weren’t able to make it to NIWeek this year, here are some of our favorite apps from the show floor.


Angry Eagles

This cool app consists of an Angry Birds game recreated in LabVIEW and an actual slingshot that uses NI CompactDAQ with digital and analog I/O. Users can launch the slingshot, as they would in a regular game of Angry Birds, thereby launching a bird in the game running in LabVIEW.




Going to the Stars With NI LabVIEW

If you never thought you’d get to travel into space, think again. Commercial space flight is on the horizon. Star Systems Inc. made an appearance on the NIWeek expo floor with its prototype spacecraft for private space flight. The system includes a PXI controller and LabVIEW to integrate all the subsystems and test engine setup.




Soccer-Playing Robot

One of the objectives of RoboCup is for an entire soccer team of humanoid robots to play a team of World Cup champions and win by the year 2050. Dr. Dennis Hong and his team are getting closer and closer to meeting that goal. This year, their CHARLI-L2 humanoid robot won first place in the 2011 Adult Size RoboCup Competition. Hong brought two robots, powered by LabVIEW, to NIWeek. Not only are they adorable – they are pretty good at soccer too.




>> Follow the Sweet Apps blog to read about some of the coolest applications created by NI customers.


We had a blast, and we hope you did too. Join and continue to visit the NIWeek community to view presentations or demos you may have missed during the conference.


We also hope you're already planning to attend NIWeek 2012, so be sure to visit before September 15, 2011, to register and receive a $255 USD discount for your company.


See you at the next NIWeek, August 7–9, 2012.


Last night NI hosted the annual conference party at The Moody Theater in downtown Austin, also home of the music program Austin City Limits (ACL). Attendees relaxed and networked with colleagues and new NIWeek friends as they enjoyed a drink or two, delicious BBQ, and live music on the ACL stage. The halls of the ACL theater are lined with photos of some of the most iconic music figures, including Johnny Cash, Norah Jones, Ray Charles, and, of course, Willie Nelson, who performed on the very first taping back in 1976.


It's been a busy, action-packed week so far, and NIWeek attendees were more than ready to bring the NIWeek fun over to ACL. We asked a few of them to tell us about one of their favorite ACL artists, what they thought of the conference party, and about their NIWeek experience so far.




And did I mention that they served donuts for dessert? They did, and it was the perfect way to top off an evening of fun.


Tim Samaras is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and costar of the Discovery Channel series Storm Chasers. He is passionate about the advancement of science and engineering and an expert on all weather phenomena. And one other thing - Samaras knows a lot about tornadoes. In fact, he's the Guiness Book of World Records holder for measuring the lowest pressure of a tornado and the only person to collect video from inside a tornado. Whatever you decide to do on Thursday, do not miss his closing keynote presentation.


In addition to Samaras' address, you'll see Ray Almgren, NI Vice President of Software, Education, and Training, and student teams from around the world as they showcase innovative solutions using graphical system design that tackle socially relevant engineering challenges.


And if you've been keeping up with the LabVIEW Coding Challenge, stop by the Tech Theater at noon to watch the finals. The highest scorer in the week-long challenge will compete against a member of LabVIEW R&D.


For more information about Thursday's events, see the NIWeek program.


We’ve all heard of LinkedIn. To some, the tool is just another social networking platform. But the reality is LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with 101 million members around the world. Rather than being another network to tell your friends and followers what you’re doing or thinking at a single point in time, LinkedIn helps you build valuable relationships with those business contacts that you met at NIWeek and other business gatherings.


So, how do you start networking with the nearly 9 million engineers who are already on LinkedIn? Presenters Rod Siebels from the NI Regional Marketing Communications group, Deirdre Walsh from Jive Software, and Terry Stratoudakis from Wall Street FPGA provided great insight into using LinkedIn to build your professional reputation during Wednesday’s Community Exchange session titled “The Missing Link.”


As Rod described, LinkedIn is like a 24/7/365 networking event. He also showed great examples of quality LinkedIn profiles in which the members included detailed and thought-out summaries of their professional backgrounds. Rather than looking like a resume, Rod said, a good basic profile summary will include keywords about your job position, skills, and goals.


Terry Stratadoukis, Executive Director of Wall Street FPGA, began using LinkedIn a few years ago. He quickly saw the business value of being an active participant on the platform and provided good tips for joining groups, maintaining a personal brand, and networking on LinkedIn.


Deirdre also provided some good tips for those thinking about creating their own LinkedIn group. She recommended that one start by participating in existing LinkedIn groups with similar goals, and then start contributing content, discussions, or comments. Once you’ve earned credibility as an expert within that group, that may be the time to start your own group that serves your specific purpose. Invite others to join and keep the group updated with timely, valuable content. She also added that it’s important to recognize top participants in a group so they know you value their feedback and conversations.


After listening to all the great advice from these experts, I’m really looking forward to expanding my network on LinkedIn by joining more groups, working on my profile, and adding new connections. If you haven’t joined already, NIWeek is the perfect opportunity to get your LinkedIn profile up and running.


Last night, more than 180 people, including engineers, scientists, students, researchers, NI leaders, and industry experts, attended the 2011 Graphical System Design Achievement Awards ceremony to honor the 16 contest finalists competing in the following application categories: Automated Test, Embedded Monitoring, Advanced Control Systems, Life Sciences, Robotics, Validation Test, and Education. In addition, all finalists were considered for the following featured awards: Community’s Choice, LabVIEW FPGA Innovation, sponsored by Xilinx, Green Engineering, Humanitarian, Editor’s Choice, and the Customer Application of the Year.


So, which engineers took home these awards? Dave Wilson, NI director of corporate marketing and academic segment, gave the audience an overview of each and every finalist’s application before revealing the big winners.


Advanced Research


Winner (also Customer Application of the Year and LabVIEW FPGA Winner): FPGA-Based Feedback Control of a Single Atom Trajectory by Christian Sames from the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics

Finalist: Using LabVIEW and PXI to Measure the Temperature and Density of Fusion Plasmas on a Tokamak COMPASS by Milan Aftanas from the Institute of Plasma Physics AS CR, v.v.i.


photo (6).JPGCustomer Application of the Year Winner, Christian Sames, With Michael Dams From NI Germany


Advanced Control Systems


Winner: Positioning Actuators for the European Extremely Large Telescope Primary Mirror With LabVIEW and PXI Hardware by Miguel Núñez from Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

Finalist: Developing a Solar-Powered Milk Chiller With LabVIEW and NI Single-Board RIO by Sorin Grama from Promethean Power Systems

Finalist: Powering Remote Villages with Revolutionary Airborne Wind Technology Using NI CompactRIO by Matt Bennett from Windlift


Automated Test


Winner: Texas Instruments Increases Firmware Test Platform Throughput, Coverage, and Reliability with NI Hardware and Software by Sambit Panigrahi from Texas Instruments

Finalist: Using NI FlexRIO to Develop a Cost-Effective Solution for 3D and HD Video by Mauro Arigossi from Alfamation




Winner: MIT Students Use LabVIEW and CompactRIO to Design and Implement a Dynamic Output Feedback Controller by Professor Jonathan How and Brandon Luders from MIT

Finalist: Using LabVIEW, CompactRIO, and PXI to Study Renewable Energy Sources by Prof. Peric and Prof. Željko Ban from University of Zagreb


Embedded Monitoring


Winner: Remotely Assessing the Structural Health of the LIRR Railroad Viaduct by Jim Campbell, Brian Lander, and Dan Fridline from Viewpoint Systems and STRAAM Corporation

Finalist: Creating a Distributed Wireless Monitoring System for Aircraft Noise by Luis Pastor Sánchez from Center for Computing Research, National Polytechnic Institute, Mexico City, Mexico


Life Sciences


Winner: Using NI FlexRIO to Develop a High-Speed, Compact OCT Imaging System by Takuya Suzuk from Santec Corporation

Finalist (also Humanitarian and Editor's Choice Winner): Developing the World’s First Real-Time 3D OCT Medical Imaging System With NI FlexRIO by Dr. Kohji Ohbayashi from Kitasato University




Winner: Simulation Software Improves Design Process for Robotic Manipulator by Lisa Mosier

Finalist (also Community’s Choice Winner): Developing a Leg-Wheel Hybrid Mobile Robot Using LabVIEW and CompactRIO by Pei-Chun Lin, Shen-Chiang Chen, Ke Jung Huang, Shuan-Yu Shen, and Cheng-Hsin from National Taiwan University


Validation Test


Winner: Using LabVIEW, PXI, and CompactRIO to Rapidly Develop Structural Test Systems for a Space Exploration Vehicle by Dave Baker from G Systems

Finalist (also Green Engineering Award Winner): Using CompactRIO and LabVIEW to Verify the Design and Test the Durability of a Wind Turbine Drive Train by Rasmus Vistisen and Morten Petersen from Vestas Wind Systems and CIM Industrial


Congratulations to all the winners! Visit to read more about the contest and the finalists' and winners' papers.


We hope your NIWeek is off to a great start! Here are a few of today's highlights:


  • Keynote address featuring the "Father of LabVIEW" starting at 8:30 a.m. in Ballroom D - Jeff Kodosky, NI cofounder and Business and Technology Fellow, will look back at the creation of graphical programming and share fundamental programming concepts vital to the next 25 years of graphical system design for meeting the most demanding application challenges.
  • Annual conference party at The Moody Theater (Austin City Limits) from 7-10 p.m. - The biggest part of them all! Enjoy drinks and dancing to one of Austin's coolest cover bands at this NIWeek tradition. Buses will run from the convention center to the museum between 6:30 and 11:30.
  • Technology Theater sessions from 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Expo Hall - If you didn't get a chance to stop by the Tech Theater yesterday, be sure to check out some of Wednesday's presentations.


For more info on these and the rest of Wednesday's events and session, see the NIWeek program.


The NIWeek expo hall opens today! Meet with more than 200 exhibiting companies, which you can find on page 68 in the NIWeek program, and stop by the following pavilions:


  • LabVIEW Zone: The LabVIEW Zone highlights how graphical system design helps users tackle some of the most challenging engineering and scientific problems of our time. Stop by to see examples of systems built with LabVIEW and to hear from users about how LabVIEW has increased their productivity. Also sign up for the Challenge the Champions contest and the LabVIEW Coding Challenge in the LabVIEW Zone.


  • Connect @NIWeek Lounge: Take a break and relax in the Connect @NIWeek Lounge in the back of the Exhibition Hall. In the lounge you’ll find comfortable couches, Wi-Fi connection, and electrical outlets so you and your devices can recharge throughout the conference.


  • Technology Theater: Check out page 72 in the NIWeek program to see the schedule for the Technology Theater. These 30-minute sessions include presentations from NI, Intel, Xilinx, MIT, and more.


In addition, be sure to check out all the awesome demos showcasing NI hardware and software. If you’ve already had a chance to scope out the expo floor, leave a comment and tell us about your favorite demos so far!


And we're back for another awesome NIWeek. In addition to all the tracks, summits, special events, and Peer2Peer roundtables that begin today, here are a few things to keep on your radar:


  • Dr. T's opening keynote at 8:30 a.m. in Ballroom D - Don't miss today's keynote, featuring Dr. Truchard and Eric Starkloff, NI Vice President of Marketing for Test and Industrial Embedded. Be sure to tune in as these NI leaders get us ramped up and excited to celebrate the 25th anniversary of LabVIEW. We'll also get to check out some of the latest product and technology demos and hear about real-world graphical system design solutions.
  • NI Community Block Diagram Party at 5 p.m. in the Expo Hall - I love that we will do anything to get "block diagram" into an official conference party name. Works every year! Anyway, don't miss the first party of NIWeek! Enjoy food and drinks and hang out with your fellow LabVIEW developers. And if you're up for a little friendly competition, participate in the third annual scavenger hunt (starting at 6:20 p.m. in the Connect @NIWeek Lounge) for a chance to win an awesome grand prize!
  • Texas Day from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Austin Convention Center - Tuesday is also Texas Day at NIWeek! If you're an engineering professional from around the state, be sure to attend the special luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Expo Hall Cafe to meet local NI field engineers and NI Alliance Partners.
  • Challenge the Champions from 5:45 to 6:15 p.m. in the Expo Hall - Sign up in the LabVIEW Zone to participate in an interactive trivia competition that puts a team of NIWeek contestants against the LabVIEW Champions for bragging rights and prizes.


Check back here all week for real-time conference updates, new product demos, videos of cool stuff happening on the show floor, and more. Also, for official conference info, or to tune into what attendees are saying about Shark Week, follow @NIWeek and @LabVIEW.


Welcome to NIWeek 2011!

Posted by jaking Aug 1, 2011

Welcome to NIWeek and welcome to  Austin, Texas! We hope you are as excited as we are about the action-packed week ahead, including keynotes, technical sessions, and, of course, some great parties. Check  back here all week for real-time conference updates, new product demo videos, videos of other cool stuff happening on the show floor, and more. To leave comments or participate in group discussions, be sure to join the NIWeek 2011 group by logging in and clicking on "Join this group" in the right-side menu on the group homepage.


And if you want to follow along on Twitter, be sure to follow @NIWeek and type #niweek in your tweet to send updates to the entire NIWeek community. 


Track and summit sessions begin tomorrow. But if your NIWeek experience starts today, here's what's happening at the Austin Convention Center:


  • Alliance Day: Hundreds of product developers, consultants, and systems integrators are joining members of the NI leadership team to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the NI Alliance Partner Network.
  • Academic Forum: This forum is a platform for academic professionals to share best practices, discuss the future of engineering, and network. During his keynote, Dave Wilson, director of Academic and Corporate Marketing at NI, will explore the future of engineering education and the innovative technologies that are required to effectively prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow.
  • Big Physics Symposium: The symposium brings together scientists, researchers and specialized vendors to network and discuss best practices and instrumentation strategies that can be applied in control, measurement and diagnostics. Ryotaro Tanaka, director of Controls and Computing Divison at JASRI/Spring-8, will give a keynote, “Adapting the Accelerator Control System – How Do We Meet the Demands,” that explains advanced accelerator operations.
  • NIWeek Kickoff Happy Hour from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Expo Hall: Don't miss this opportunity to hang out and network with NI sales engineers, National Instruments Alliance Partners, the NI R&D team, LabVIEW Champions, exhibitors, and other NIWeek attendees


See you tomorrow!


Presented on Wednesday August 3, the Industry Experts Panel will help you gain an inside perspective on smart grid technology, including global trends in R&D investment, recent progress and five-year road maps. The panel will discuss development and rollout plans for networked smart sensors and controls, electric vehicles, energy storage systems, and renewables.


The panel will be moderated by Owen Golden, National Instruments vice president of Global Energy. Experts on the panel include the following:

  • Carlos Coe, President and CEO, Xtreme Power
  • Jim Greer, Senior Vice President of Asset Management and Engineering, Oncor Electric Delivery
  • Alison Silverstein, Project Director, North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI)
  • Bill Kramer, Senior Research Engineer, National Renewable Energy Lab


>> Register for NIWeek 2011


Over the next two months, we'll feature NIWeek highlights to get you excited about what NIWeek 2011 has to offer.

NIWeek will start on Monday, August 1 for those attending the Academic Forum or the Big Physics Symposium.


On Monday, August 1, National Instruments will host the Academic Forum, a platform for academic professionals to share best practices, discuss the future of engineering and network. The event will include a keynote from Dave Wilson, director of Academic and Corporate Marketing at NI. Wilson will explore the future of engineering education and the innovative technologies that are required to effectively prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow.


Other Academic Forum highlights include:


  • LabVIEW, the NI USRP, and Implications for Software-Defined Radio – Sachin Katti, a professor at Stanford University, will explore the use of virtual instrumentation to rapidly create real-time communication systems demonstrations for the classroom and laboratory settings
  • Biomedical Engineering: Measurements to Design – Sherman Fan and Aileen Huang-Saad, professors at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, will showcase a sequence of measurements-to-design courses that help students create solutions for their medical school
  • Control with CompactRIO – Galen King, a professor at Purdue University, will explain how the mechanical engineering department uses CompactRIO to teach students about control theory and how this method may be picked up by other departments such as aerospace


Also on Monday, NI will host the 5th annual Big Physics Symposium. The symposium brings together scientists, researchers and specialized vendors to network and discuss best practices and instrumentation strategies that can be applied in control, measurement and diagnostics. Ryotaro Tanaka, director of Controls and Computing Divison at JASRI/Spring-8, will give a keynote, “Adapting the Accelerator Control System – How Do We Meet the Demands,” that explains advanced accelerator operations. 


Big Physics Symposium sessions include:


  • High Reliability and Availability Systems for Control Needs – Alessandro Masi, senior control engineer at CERN, will examine the methodology and results of a comparative study of the PXI and VME platforms
  • COTS Instrumentation for Advanced Steady-State Data Acquisition and Storing System – Hideya Nakanishi, associate professor at the National Institute for Fusion Science, will discuss the LHD, a superconducting fusion experimental device that demonstrates steady-state plasma operation
  • Putting NI Platforms to the Test: Quality Systems and Services – NI Vice President of Quality and Continuous Improvement Andy Krupp will present relative initiatives, outcomes and progress of the design and testing in the NI reliability lab


>> Register for NIWeek.



VI Shots is a biweekly audio podcast hosted by JKI engineer Michael Aivaliotis. He presents discussions and interviews with the LabVIEW Community. This week, Michael chats with three LabVIEW Community members about recommended sessions and how to get the most out of NIWeek 2011.




>> Check out the podcast here.


The final program for NIWeek 2011 is now available.




The program provides full abstracts, presenter listings and times on the more than 200 technical sessions as well as information on the exhibitors participating in NIWeek. The program also highlights networking opportunities and special events such as the Academic Forum, Big Physics Symposium and the Industry Experts Panel.


>> View the NIWeek 2011 final program here.

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