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iPhone Controlled Car: More How-To Materials November 12, 2009

Posted by emiliekopp in code, labview robot projects.
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So if you’ve been following the phenomenal DIY application that has made it to sites like Gizmodo and Cars.com, you might be interested in the detailed How-To docs that the guys behind this wicked-awesome app created. Just in case you haven’t checked out their blog (which you should!), here’s some of the technical materials they’ve shared with us:

  1. Technical Tutorial: Remotely Controlled Automobile – iPhone, Power Wheels, Laptop — Includes system overview as well as a grocery list of all the hardware used
  2. Technical White Paper: Use of Prototyping tools in the “Drive a Car with an iPhone” Video — Lists the software used to rapidly prototype the control system, including LabVIEW
  3. Open Source Code: Code for iPhone Controlled Car — Download the zip file that contains the LabVIEW project and all subVIs that they used in order to control the Oldsmobile with an iPhone, Power Wheels, and Laptop

And there’s plenty more tutorials they’ve created to help explain exactly how they did it. Check them out.

 

Open Source LabVIEW Code: LIDAR Example featuring Radiohead September 15, 2009

Posted by emiliekopp in code, labview robot projects.
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This one is compliments of Alessandro Ricco, a LabVIEW Champion in Italy who had some free time on his hands. He was inspired by Radiohead’s music video for House of Cards. Some of you may recall, this is the music video that was created without any filming, whatsoever. Rather, the producers recorded 3D images of Thom Yorke singing the lyrics with a Velodyne LIDAR sensor and then played back the data, in sync with the song.

I mentioned LIDAR technology before when describing the Blind Driver Car from Virginia Tech. There’s a ton of other robots that I’ve come across that use LIDAR for sensing and perception, so I figured you robot builders out there might be interested in getting your hands on some code to do this yourself.

Start by downloading Alessandro’s example here. You’ll need LabVIEW 8.5 or newer. If you don’t have LabVIEW, you can download free evaluation software here (be warned, it might take some time to download).

You’ll also need to find yourself some LIDAR data. If you don’t have a $20,000 LIDAR sensor lying around the lab, you can simply download the LIDAR data from the Radiohead music video from Google Code.

On the other hand, if you do have a LIDAR lying around and let’s say you want to create your own music video (or perhaps more likely, if you just want to create a video recording of the 3D data your mobile robot just acquired), Alessandro also includes a VI that saves each 3D plot as a .jpeg and then strings them all together to create an .avi. Here’s where you can find the necessary IMAQ driver VIs to do this part (be sure to download NI-IMAQ 4.1, I don’t think you’ll need the other stuff).

radiohead

Big thanks to Alessandro. His instructions, documented in his VIs, are exceptional.