Skip navigation


1 2 Previous Next

NIWeek 2011

22 Posts tagged with the niweek-2011 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.


Wow. Talk about an audience of 3,300 getting blown away. After a heart-pounding keynote presentation by extreme storms researcher Tim Samaras, the NIWeek Community team caught up with Peter Olivias from Los Alamos National Lab and Doug Ary from Lockheed Martin on the expo floor. Standing in front of Samaras' storm-chasing truck, Peter spoke about how lucky his TWISTEX team is to get paid to do something as adrenaline-pumping as chasing tornados. Attending his fifth NIWeek, Douglas expressed his excitement about recently switching to NI LabVIEW software. He says the change has made his work "easier and faster" and that LabVIEW is simply "the way to go."




The NIWeek Community hopes that all attendees enjoyed their NIWeek 2011 experience as much as Peter and Douglas did. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!


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.


By mixing energetic presentation of neat user interface tricks with occasional rants about the injustice of iPad distribution in the world,  Jonathan Cohn kept an audience attention past the end of the session time, a neat trick for the last session of the day.  Jonathan works for Bloomy Controls. He showed how to create "dark modals" -- when a modal dialog comes up, darkening the main window. He walked through the basics of creating plug-in property pages. And he showed a robust system for disabling or enabling different parts of a user interface based on the privilege level of the user currently logged in.


This is a presentation that Jonathan has done the past two years, and it continues to be more impressive. If you missed it this year, he's sure to be invited back next year. Although, as Jonathan himself admitted, he does need to come up with some new jokes. :-)


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.


In the printed manuals, there is a 1pm session titled "Hands-On: Introduction to OOP in LabVIEW".

The correct title is "Hands-On: Introduction to Design Patterns in OOP in LabVIEW".


Those three missing words are kind of important. This is a session for intermediate OOP users, giving you a chance to explore some more complex architectures in an environment where people are around for you to ask questions. If by chance a new user interested in OOP comes by, that's ok... we'll give them some materials to get started with. But this session is really for those of you who are already familiar with the basics.


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!


Monday's technical session titled "The Actor Framework: Communication Among Independent Top-Level VIs" included a note that one of the demos during this morning's keynote would be powered by the Actor Framework, although that tidbit wouldn't be discussed in the keynote itself. Audience members were told to watch for the NI Eagle over a moonlit sea. Well, it appears that the keynote presenters decided to go with a sunny beach instead of a moonlit bay, but the Angry Eagles demo was still powered by the Actor Framework. There were multiple actors in that application, one controlling the actual drawing UI, one updating the physics engine, one monitoring the sensors and a few others for various internal processes to give a seamless application out of mutliple independent parts.


To learn more about the Actor Framework, including watching a video of yesterday's presentation, visit the Actor Framework in the Community forums:


On Monday at NIWeek, Ryan King presented "Advanced Error Handling". This session will be reprised today at 3:30pm. I encourage anyone writing applications with LabVIEW to attend Ryan's talk.


Error handling is a tricky topic. It is far more than "skip downstream functions if error in is set" and "display an error in a dialog box". There are times when you need to trap an error and translate it to a different error. There are times when you need to retry a function until the error does not occur. There are times when you just need to suppress the error. And then there are an endless list of activities that you might need to do in your particular app to compensate for a specific error ("hardware on fire" may require "start fire suppression system").


Ryan walks the audience through APIs available from National Instruments and third parties to create a truly robust error generation-propagation-handling-reporting system -- far more comprehensive than General Error Even if you don't absorb all the details about error handling in this one session, you will at least have a better awareness of the complexity of the problem, so the next time you're writing an application, you can pause and think about that error wire and whether it's really doing what your system needs it to do.


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!

1 2 Previous Next