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NIWeek 2011

26 Posts tagged with the niweek tag

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.


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.


LAVA and OpenG BBQ #10

Posted by AristosQueue Aug 2, 2011

LAVA is the largest community-based support forum for LabVIEW in the world. OpenG is a community-maintained, free-for-everyone set of VIs to augment vi.lib. Wholly independent of NI, these two web sites serve as repositories for a wealth of LabVIEW wisdom. Each year for the last 10 years, on the Tuesday of NI Week, LAVA and OpenG have hosted a BBQ dinner to give users who only know each other online a chance to put a face with a user handle and socialize. A record-setting 115 people attended this year's event.


This year's venue was Sholtz Garden. Because of the large crowd, the event was held outdoors. Yes, that's right... these 115 people like LabVIEW and each other so much that they enjoyed hot BBQ outside in the 100+ degree evening. Lucky thing there was shade and big blowing fans. The sit-down meal is a unique chance at NI Week for users to talk to each other -- and those of us from NI are there as users, not as NI reps. The event is much less business-oriented that most of NI Week, and it generally turns into a bull session for every topic under the (very sweltering) sun. After the meal, famous LAVA users Jim Kring, Justin Gores and Chris Relf gave brief speeches about the history and future of LAVA, and then they ran the raffle. The raffle of door prizes is a tradition at LAVA BBQ, where the prizes are donated by a wide range of people. This year's haul included a bottle of wine from the Truchard winery (yes, that Truchard), an Android tablet, a thumb drive containing a working version of a LabVIEW 1.0 emulator, mouse pads, silly putty, and other items related to LabVIEW and/or computer programming.


The event cost $30 a ticket, which is expensive for a BBQ dinner, until you realize that ticket sales are a major source of fund raising to keep the LAVA web site up and running. When you think of it as the subscription fee for the content of the LAVA Code Repository and the instant online help that LAVA users provide to anyone who posts questions, $30 starts to look like a real bargain.


The evening concluded with a selection of limericks about famous LV users from Darren Nattinger -- he of Darren's Nuggets fame. I will leave those to your imagination, though there is a standing challenge to complete "There once was a node from the palettes..."


Until next year...



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!


After the much-anticipated release of LabVIEW 2011, an exciting keynote presentation, and an endless amount of cool demos, the expo floor was buzzing with excitement on the first day of NIWeek. This is the largest NIWeek to date, with more than 3,300 attendees, 222 sessions, and 108 exhibitors, and everyone is ready to see what else is in store.


We met up with Norm Dingle from Noblesville, Indiana, who is now attending his third NIWeek. Norm is most looking forward to meeting up with industry friends and enjoying this year’s NIWeek.



If you aren’t at NIWeek in person, make sure to stay tuned into the NIWeek Community for more updates on new product releases, keynote speeches, and inspiring demos featured on the expo floor.


At the LabVIEW Partners Network luncheon today, NI announced the winners for LabVIEW Add-On of the Year. These are products from our users that increase the power of other users.



Congratulations, again, to all the winners!


All of these -- and many more -- are available on the LabVIEW Tools Network. Visit it today to enchance the power of your LabVIEW application:


The first keynote event of NIWeek 2011 represented a veritable Chex Mix of fun for technophiles. From a crash course on the history of measurement technologies to the future of LTE communications and everything in between, no matter what industry you represent, there was something in the event for everyone to get their fix.


NI president, CEO, and cofounder Dr. Truchard opened the day by explaining how, when he entered the industry in the early sixties, general purpose analog instrumentation was king of innovation – and had been since the 1920s. The sensitivity and cost of those instruments, among other drawbacks, kept the process of invention and deployment at a snail’s pace compared to today. Then came the era of transistors and ICs, which started a continually accelerating trend of efficiency gains and miniaturization that carried engineering through the next 45 years, until now. Truchard then summarized how we are now in the era of graphical system design, where software, not instrumentation, takes center stage. How engineers can now reach new levels of productivity by using LabVIEW system design software as the tool that pulls together instrumentation of any type, for any application.


Following Truchard was Eric Starkloff, NI VP of test and industrial embedded marketing, who hosted several teams of NI engineers and customers who demonstrated all sorts of productivity gains achieved with NI products. The demonstrations included many new NI products, including the following:


  • NI VeriStand 2011 for real-time test, demonstrated in an avionics solution
  • The first multicore NI CompactRIO and one-slot Single-Board RIO, seen in evolving smart-grid technologies
  • The industry’s highest-performing 14 GHz RF PXI Vector Signal Analyzer, outperforming the Agilent PXA in head-to-head RF test combat
  • Multiple new products for semiconductor test, including new SMU and PPMU tools
  • Wireless CompactDAQ and other cDAQ devices, used to create an NI version of the popular Angry Birds video game – Angry Eagles. (Complete with a giant slingshot device on stage.)
  • LabVIEW 2011, of course, the heart of the NI approach to graphical system design


Starkloff and his team unveiled these and many other products as well as teasing the audience with talk and demos of some forthcoming NI innovations. It was a great opening to NIWeek 2011. And if today was any indication of what the rest of the week holds, we’re all in for an exciting time.


To get detailed information about the new products unveiled today, visit


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.


NIWeek Scavenger Hunt

Posted by andreatapia Aug 1, 2011

If you’re looking for a little friendly competition during NIWeek, participate in the scavenger hunt during the NI Community Block Diagram Party on Tuesday, August 2. During 20 action-packed minutes you can earn points for completing tasks around the expo floor, networking with other attendees, and socializing on the web. The first prize winner receives an Apple Parrot AR.Drone Quadricopter!


How to participate:

  1. Meet at the Connect @NIWeek Lounge at 6:20 p.m. for instructions.
  2. Take the scavenger hunt activity list with you to get signatures confirming you have completed each activity.
  3. Complete as many activities as you can.
  4. Return to the Connect @NIWeek Lounge at 6:40 p.m. to tally up your points. The person with the most points takes home the grand prize.



  • Some activities are assigned greater point values than others.
  • If you do not have a mobile device or a laptop with Internet access, you can use the computers at the Connect @NIWeek Lounge.
  • If you have any questions, return to the Connect @NIWeek Lounge to ask them.



Good Luck!


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.


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