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49 Posts tagged with the compactrio tag

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) charity works to “save lives at sea” across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Rescuing 23 people a day, this institution owns the largest fleet of inflatable boats (IBs) and rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) in the United Kingdom.


Ocean waves cause almost all high-speed planing vessels, including IBs and RIBs, to vibrate in a nonlinear manner called “boat motion,” which is one major cause of long- and short-term injuries with physiological and psychological effects for the crew. The RNLI needed a new strategy to reduce human exposure to these harsh vibrations.


For this project, the University of Southampton studied the RNLI D-class IB by performing four full-scale experiments—stationary tests, drop tests, flat water trials, and wave trials—each affecting a different aspect of hydroelasticity. Boat motion was measured using 52 sensors through 74 channels attached to various parts of the boat. The analog signals were converted from these sensors into digital signals and were saved during each experiment.


To increase reliability, simplify coding, and reduce compilation time, a rugged and reliable data logger flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of sensors was needed. Additionally, a stand-alone system small enough to fit inside a waterproof case in a restricted space was essential. The cRIO-9074 integrated system met these

boat.pngrequirements and could be reconfigured into a data logger. With a variety of C Series modules, the University of Southampton could wire almost any signal into the CompactRIO system. Coding for this data logger was developed using LabVIEW software, making programming simple and fast.


The CompactRIO system was robust and rugged enough to simultaneously measure performance and deformation and save the data while under extreme conditions. The University of Southampton’s next step is to link performance and deformation together to find the origin of the effect of hydroelasticity and isolate the components dominating this effect.


Next Steps



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.


Strokes are a leading cause of adult disability in America and survivors often can’t sit or stand. To increase the success of rehabilitation therapy in the future, engineers at the National University of Singapore have built a supine gait rehabilitation device to provide in-bed rehabilitation. Using CompactRIO and LabVIEW the engineers can control the device’s gait cycle and move the patient’s lower limbs.


Supine Gait Rehabilitation Device_SA.jpg


CompactRIO was used to control the linear actuators as a system; these actuators change the angles of the hip, knee, and ankle joints according to the gait cycle. LabVIEW was used for system development and programming, which allowed the device to acquire biofeedback from patients. NI technology made it possible to maintain real-time control and flexibility. This device will not only begin strengthening their muscles while they are recuperating, it will increase the chances of stroke patient’s regaining their mobility in the future.


>> Read the full case study.


Having a functional, reliable energy supply is crucial for modern society. Oil pipeline ruptures and other failures not only disrupt that supply, but they also have long-term environmental effects. Therefore, one of the most important challenges in any pipeline system is detecting pipeline defects and damages early. RAFA Solutions, a systems integrator company, is using CompactRIO to prevent pipeline failure by locating pipeline damages without stopping oil flow.



Oil Pipeline.jpg


RAFA Solutions chose CompactRIO as the system’s hardware platform. To build the monitoring system RAFA Solutions used a cRIO-9025 controller with an 800 MHz processor, a cRIO-9116 reconfigurable 8-slot chassis featuring a Xilinx Virtex-5 FPGA, and eight NI 9205 analog input modules. The system application was developed using LabVIEW, which can be easily upgraded to support different types of pipelines. The system was successfully installed on oil pipelines in India and used for data acquisition from 256 sensors, data processing, and data logging. With this system, engineers are one step closer to preventing future oil spills.


>> Read the full case study.


Have you ever woken up in the wee hours of the morning to the loud sounds of a motorcycle passing through your neighborhood? Noise pollution affects the lives of millions of people every day, and can lead to long-term and short-term health problems. While urban noise may seem unavoidable, the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore is taking steps to limit construction and traffic noise—major contributors to noise pollution in the country.


Noise_Sweet App.jpg


To help the NEA manage noise pollution, a group of students and professors at the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Nanyang Technological University used NI technology to build an automated system that scrutinizes tailpipe emission noise for violations and captures vehicle license plate numbers that authorities can use to prosecute offenders.



The system is placed on an overhead bridge with two microphones hanging above the center of a single monitored lane. A camera focuses on a specific spot a few meters away from the microphones. The system’s microphones are connected to preamplifiers with outputs that are fed to the CompactRIO controller via an NI 9234 DAQ device. LabVIEW has prewritten DLLs for the GigE protocol, which made it simple to interface the cameras with the controller. The team also used LabVIEW to develop a user-friendly GUI.



Besides traffic noise surveillance, this technology can remotely monitor and generate heavy machinery noise maps on factory floors and track enemy movements in military operations. We can’t completely cut out urban sounds, but we can limit them. Your ears can thank them later!


>> Read the full case study.


Did you know that some of the largest bus fleets in the United Kingdom run more than 7,500 buses, and each bus has a lifetime of 25 years? Well, some of these buses could be seeing a new life soon. Vantage Power, a company specializing in electric and hybrid systems for buses and heavy-duty vehicles, has developed a hybrid powertrain demonstrating a 40 percent fuel savings. Using LabVIEW and CompactRIO, Vantage Power put the most energy-efficient hybrid bus on the road.

hybrid bus.jpg


Vantage Power made CompactRIO the core of the hybrid vehicle control system. CompactRIO controlled each power delivery component and analyzed and logged large sets of acquired data. LabVIEW system design software was used for every phase of development. Vantage Power also used LabVIEW to implement an advanced Kalman filter algorithm, which provided crucial onboard estimation functions for battery charge state, health, and thermal behavior.

The hybrid bus has proved its road-worthiness by passing all required homologation testing, and is currently beginning trials in a public service fleet in the United Kingdom. This hybrid bus is driving change on the road and turning our lines green.


>> Read the full case study.


Did you know that the global demand for electricity increases five percent each year? Top researchers and scientists around the world are working around the clock to develop new, sustainable sources of electrical power to meet that demand. One company, Tokamak Energy, is developing small spherical tokamaks to harness the power of nuclear fusion.






For those not well-versed in fusion terms, a tokamak is a device that uses magnetic fields to confine plasma in the shape of a torus. Using NI CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW software, Tokamak Energy developed a powerful data acquisition and control system for their tokamak prototype, the ST25.


“We used LabVIEW and CompactRIO to construct a scalable, distributed embedded control and DAQ system without the need for specialist embedded electronic engineers,” said Paul Apte with Tokamak Energy. “We will continue to use this approach as the project scales up in size and complexity so engineering physicists can work closely on the system implementation for high-temperature superconductor magnet control, plasma control, and advanced diagnostics.”


>> Read the full case study.


This Robot Is Out for Blood

Posted by avaleria Aug 18, 2014

Venipuncture is a clinical procedure performed over 1.4 billion times each year in the U.S. alone. The procedure involves drawing blood from a vein located inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. Because the success rate of venipuncture depends on a patient’s physiology and the practitioner’s experience, it can take several tries to successfully find a vein. Ouch!






VascuLogic, a medical device start-up and research lab, doesn’t want patients to suffer through multiple punctures. That’s why they developed VenousPro.


The VenousPro is a portable image-guided robot that maps the 3D coordinates of peripheral forearm veins to robotically insert a needle into the vein. VascuLogic used the LabVIEW Robotics Module to build the brain of the instrument and CompactRIO to control the device’s motion and direct the robotic needle.


By using NI hardware and software, VascuLogic finished the project under budget and five months ahead of schedule. The robot can autonomously draw blood and perform other IV procedures with 98 percent first-stick accuracy!



>> Read the full case study.


The London Underground is one of the most advanced metro systems in the world. The station serves 1.7 billion passengers per year, and 213 million of those passengers use the Victoria Line. But the London Underground recently tackled a serious problem: underground track circuit failures that caused travel disruptions.


London Underground.jpg


To predict London Underground track circuit failures, the Victoria Line Condition Monitoring Team installed a CompactRIO system. With CompactRIO and LabVIEW, the engineers performed real-time analysis on the voltage and frequency of all 385 jointless track circuits across 45 km of deep tube railway, making it possible to prevent track circuit failures before they occur.


The Victoria Line now benefits from a reliable remote condition monitoring system. By using NI hardware and software, engineers can proactively respond to track failures reducing lost customer hours by 39,000 per year.



>> Read the full case study.


Over the course of thousands of years, animals developed powerful legs that can carry them across natural terrain. Humans, on the other hand, constructed wheels to adequately travel from point A to point B. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Wheels require a relatively flat surface, while legs are less efficient. The Bio-Inspired Robotic Laboratory (BioRoLa) team at National Taiwan University has combined both legs and wheels to build the TurboQuad, which can swiftly transition between different terrains in just one stride.


You may remember the Quattroped, a robot that could transform from wheels to legs on a variety of natural terrains, but couldn’t transition without coming to a complete stop. This led to the creation of TurboQuad, a leg-wheel transformable robot built to mirror the gait transition of animals. TurboQuad’s leg-wheel modules are composed of two-half circle legs. The robot moves like a four-wheel vehicle when the two half-circle legs are closed and moves like a quadruped when the two half-circle legs are open, facing away from each other.


NI CompactRIO hardware and LabVIEW software were instrumental in the process of building TurboQuad. The students used CompactRIO to create a control strategy for the robot’s behavior exhibition and transition, while LabVIEW helped them design and construct the robot.


Students applied their engineering skills to improve the design and construction of a bio-inspired robot using NI software and hardware. Their scientific findings have the possibility of expanding into different projects that can improve future generations. Who knows, maybe your next car will use this technology to go off-road!


>> Read the full case study.


The U.S. Department of Energy is counting on wind power to meet 20% of the nation’s power needs by 2030, up from 3% today. This feat will only be possible if the leading academic and industry experts advance technologies needed to develop offshore wind power, and NI is playing a central role in this collaboration.


Last November, Clemson University unveiled the world’s largest 15-megawatt Wind Turbine Drivetrain Test facility, intended to create new technologies for the energy market. They selected NI LabVIEW and  NI PXI modular hardware for a majority of measurement types. 




The facility has expanded to include a grid simulation lab that allows manufacturers to test both the mechanical and electrical characteristics of their machines in a controlled and calibrated environment. It uses LabVIEW and NI Multisim software, as well as NI PXI, NI R Series, NI FlexRIO, and NI CompactRIO hardware.


With this new and innovative testing center, companies can test a hardware prototype for any energy resource on a utility scale (up to 15 MW, which is HUGE) and gauge the impact of adding this technology to the actual grid before deploying it. This blows away any other wind turbine test facility in the world!


>> Read the full case study.


Nuclear power plants are some of the most hazardous environments on the planet. Nuclear decommissioning, the process of dismantling defunct nuclear facilities, is dangerous due to high radiation and other factors such as heat, humidity, caustic fumes, and limited visibility. Sending human operators inside a facility is often too risky.


One solution is to use remote handling techniques, such as operating a robotic manipulator. However, current robotic manipulators are inadequate for nuclear decommissioning tasks because of the environment and design of the devices. Using NI LabVIEW system design software and NI CompactRIO hardware, James Fisher Nuclear (JFN) developed a safe, modular arm that operates with maximum dexterity to navigate in restricted environments.



With the help of NI products, JFN created a valuable tool that can solve many nuclear decommissioning challenges around the world. The robotic arm is safe, reliable, and versatile, and minimizes the risks for human operators working in a harsh environment.


>> Check out another Sweet App involving an assistive arm.

>> Read the full case study. 


The sleek physique of an Aston Martin makes it look like it can travel effortlessly at high speeds, so why not put its racing skills to the test? Not so fast – the engine workload of a race car, which spends most of its time at full throttle, is much more demanding than a normal car driving down the highway. Even a luxury car like an Aston Martin couldn’t hold up without serious modifications.


Aston Martin Racing (AMR) has competed in the 24 Hour Tour Le Mans, the world’s most demanding sports car race, since 2005. Last year, AMR won the championship in the Grand Touring Endurance category with its Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The transformation from luxury car to race car involves significant reengineering, so AMR put its engine engineering team to work.




Severe damage can be caused if race car engine behavior isn’t measured and understood. With the help of Computer Controlled Solutions (CCS), the team created a data acquisition device using NI CompactRIO hardware and NI LabVIEW system design software. This reliable and high-precision measurement system allowed AMR to perform necessary adjustments, ultimately improving engine longevity.


>> Read another Sweet App about racing.

>> Read the full case study.


As demand for electricity increases every year, so does the need for fusion energy research. And what better to help with that than a compact, cost-effective tokamak using NI CompactRIO hardware and NI LabVIEW software?

For those who don’t know, a tokamak is a torus-shaped device that uses magnetic fields to confine plasma, which is necessary given that plasma can reach temperatures of millions of degrees. A stable plasma discharge requires a magnetic field that moves around the torus in a helical path.


Tokamak Solutions develops small, spherical tokamaks that provide the 300 plasma research centers in the world with easier access to the technology they need to accelerate their research at a lower cost. The company has created the ST25 – a small, fully-operational tokamak with the potential to speed up the fusion R&D process and make fusion power widely available.


ST25 Tokamak.jpg


The ST25 uses the NI PCIe-1433 frame grabber, which uses NI-IMAQ drivers to collect high-speed video of the plasma at more than 1,000 frames per second. Electrifying!


Tokamak Solutions also chose LabVIEW and CompactRIO to manage the plasma control and data acquisition of the ST25. These NI products helped simplify the whole building process, yielding promising results in just a short time.


  >> Read the full case study.


Walking seems like the easiest thing in the world, right? However, it’s a very complicated process, involving hundreds of factors that must work together seamlessly. Researchers at the Texas A&M Bipedal Experimental Robotics (AMBER) Lab are studying human walking mechanisms in order to develop the next generation of robotic systems, from prosthetic devices to legged robots for space exploration.


Their latest success: using LabVIEW and the NI CompactRIO platform, they’ve built a robot that can achieve stable, efficient, human-like bipedal walking.




"With NI products, we could rapidly implement control algorithms, reuse existing code, and increase the efficiency in executing time-critical tasks by delegating the tasks between the real-time processor and FPGA hardware." - Dr. Aaron D. Ames, Texas A&M University


>> Check out another robotic Sweet App.

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