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NIWeek: Flying Drones, Instrumented Bikes, Automated Guitars, & More

Austin, Tex.—After an eight-year hiatus, I returned to NI Week, that high-flying, fast-rolling, guitar-playing event held in the Texas capital during the heat of summer. Things have certainly changed since the first NI Week in 1995 (I was there). PXI had not yet been invented, nor did we have flying drones. Robots were for industrial use only. In 2015, some 3200 engineers, technicians, and scientists were treated to technology that was barely a dream in 1995.

National Instruments and its many partner companies demonstrated an array of automated test systems, but the real fun came from drones, automated football inflators (enough to make Tom Brady cry), bikes with more sensors than my 1999 Toyota, and a host of other cool gadgets. It all started with the opening keynote on Tuesday, August 4 as a drone flew around the hall.

Indiana-based Ball Systems had some fun with an NI USB data-acquisition system and LabVIEW. Engineers developed an automated inflater-deflater that can be used with a football (soccer) ball, basketball, volleyball, or in this case, an NFL football. Click on the smiling Tom Brady and see the ball's pressure go to 10.5 lbs. Click on crying Tom and see it inflate to 12.5 lbs.

This pressure guage converts pressure into an analog voltage, which the data-acquisition digitizes.

This pressure guage converts pressure into an analog voltage, which the data-acquisition digitizes.

Solenoids control the air pressure to the football.

Solenoids control the air pressure to the football.

To read the rest of this article, visit EBN sister site EE Times.

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1 comment on “NIWeek: Flying Drones, Instrumented Bikes, Automated Guitars, & More

  1. Goorrithle
    May 1, 2019

    Thanks for the interesting content. Yes, the world is really striving for automation and technology at high speed. However, I believe that such services https://foxmusician.com/best-blues-acoustic-guitar/ will not disappear and we all need real things to learn. There is something eternal and this is music. We need real acoustic guitars for the soul.

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