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More than 17 million people and counting in the world have cerebral palsy. One in three of these people cannot walk, one in five cannot talk, one in 10 has a severe vision impairment, and one in 25 has a severe hearing impairment. With the help of the NI platform, these people's lives are expected to improve by using a distributable therapy device developed with LabVIEW software and Single-Board RIO hardware.


The staff at the University of Leeds and Leeds Teaching Hospital developed a novel therapeutic game environment for the upper limb rehabilitation of both stroke survivors and children with cerebral palsy. Since the system proved promising in smaller studies, the group pushed for larger national trials. The device needed to be mass producible and suitable for home delivery, assembly, and use to ensure the success of these larger trials. NI Alliance Partner Key Engineering Solutions Limited was asked to help Leeds staff redesign the system to be mass producible, lower cost, and more maintainable.




Originally, the prototype system used CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW to control the assistive joystick and communicate data back to the game. This was reliable but not cost-effective for mass production. LabVIEW, Single-Board RIO, and two NI 9505 DC servo drive modules were used for the development of this novel rehabilitative technology toward a distributable commercial product.


The short-term trials revealed that cerebral palsy motor function improved with the use of this device. Conducting longer-term trials across the UK would help reaffirm results that were uncovered in short-term trials, which would be a major step toward ensuring the full promise of the rehabilitative technology. This device could be the answer for home-based rehabilitation to help supplement treatment while reducing the burden on trained physiotherapists and the National Health Service.

Next Steps


A National Instruments Alliance Partner is a business entity independent from National Instruments and has no agency, partnership, or joint-venture relationship with National Instruments.


When you picture a typical lab there’s likely a well-lit room with engineers and scientists conducting experiments in a controlled environment suited to performing sensitive operations. Jim Trezzo’s laboratory is oftentimes a far cry from what most call a typical lab. As a product lead at OpenROV, a low-cost open-source (both hardware and software) underwater vehicle platform, Trezzo’s lab is most often dockside, in a boat or near a test tank. He counts on NI VirtualBench to help facilitate his testing and experiments wherever his work takes him.



Jim Trezzo’s typical lab bench (when not waterside)


“NI VirtualBench has been a great system for the development work I am doing around an acoustic location system for an underwater ROV (Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle),” says Trezzo. “Having a portable professional bench top instrumentation system has been a big plus. While some of my work is in a traditional lab bench environment, much of the testing and experimentation is out in the field... I can pack up my ROV, a few laptops, and VirtualBench into a canvas bag and be ready for in-the-water testing.”

OpenROV is just one example of the many innovative projects where scientists and engineers use VirtualBench and other NI technology to help facilitate testing and measurement. If you or your organization has a unique NI story, let us know. We want to hear about how you use NI hardware and software.

>>> Read more about Jim Trezzo’s OpenRov project.


The creators of these three applications used NI technology to get in the spirit of the holidays and to brave some truly wintry weather.

Have you ever seen a Santa robot with sweet dance moves? Well look no further because a group of students at Weber State University built a Santa robot using myDAQ and LabVIEW. The students used LabVIEW to program the entire project and myDAQ as a control and test instrument. LabVIEW also controlled the digital outputs on the myDAQ to power the lights.



NI employee, Andy Coulson, used LabVIEW and Arduino to sequence wearable Christmas lights for an NI contest. He used LabVIEW to perform sound analysis of a playing .WAV file and have it drive various Christmas light strings based on the power level at different frequency ranges. He also used LabVIEW to develop a VI and successfully create a wireless Christmas suit that’s a hit at every holiday party. 


NI India field engineer Paras Loomba traveled to Antarctica as part of the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition. The expedition’s mission is to provide attendees with first-hand knowledge about climate change in the Antarctic peninsula. Loomba used NI wireless sensor network (WSN) products to further expand his knowledge on the area’s climate change.



The Jawaharlal Nehru Port handles more than 65 percent of overall container traffic in India. Without a bridge to connect the port to the Panvel highway in Mumbai, trailers and other container vehicles would have to travel an extra 22 km. Sardar Patel College of Engineering and 21st SHM consultants have developed a structural health monitoring solution to collect data on the existing bridge so it can be  rehabilitated and strengthened.



Bridge rehabilitation.jpg



The team used CompactDAQ and LabVIEW to develop the testing and data acquisition system. They used CompactDAQ to record, analyze, and store data from various tests conducted on the bridge. LabVIEW made it easy to carry out frequency and acceleration measurements with built-in functions like power spectrum and distortion. The NI Report Generation Toolkit  was used to produce data reports for all measurements. Since its integration, the structural testing system has shown an increase in fundamental frequency, which is a sign of better overall stiffness of the bridge.


In the future, they plan to develop a separate monitoring system using CompactRIO to monitor the bridge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


>> Read full case study.


Each year, nuclear power facilities all over the world produce 10,000 m of high-level nuclear waste. To protect public health and the environment it’s important to construct containers that can withstand the pressure of time. With a goal to develop a measurement system to provide insight on long-term nuclear storage, ProtoRhino researched copper cracking mechanisms using FlexRIO and LabVIEW.

Nuclear Waste Containers.jpg


ProtoRhino used FlexRIO and LabVIEW to measure the mechanics of copper cracking under stress in a millisecond timescale. Nuclear waste containers need to last 10,000 years and must retain their integrity under geological stress and corrosion. The LabVIEW FPGA module was used to program the FPGA. FlexRIO was used for image processing and collecting data generated from testing the copper’s deformation under stress. By successfully monitoring the cracks in the copper, ProtoRhino will soon be able to find a material that will safely store nuclear waste for years.


>> Read the full case study.


About the Blog

Sharing the coolest, weirdest, and most impressive applications created by NI customers and employees using NI products. Tune in each week to see what's new!

Owned by: elizabethkidd Rodney_Hargrave avaleria bcwilson JamieLynn

Tags: labview, applications, technology, case_studies, customer_solutions, sweet_apps, sweet, cool, user_applications

Group Type: Members Only

Created: Jan 21, 2009

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