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Open Source Code: Using XBox Kinect with the LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit May 25, 2011

Posted by emiliekopp in code, labview robot projects.
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This example features sensor fusion, using the Kinect to gather the 3D image of the world and a scanning sonar to help avoid obstacles that get too close for the Kinect to see.

Check out the full recipe on the NI Robotics Code Exchange, including hardware lists, software and setup requirements, as well as code descriptions and downloads.

Download: Using the XBox Kinect with LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit

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Kinect 6D Visualization in LabVIEW April 19, 2011

Posted by emiliekopp in code, labview robot projects.
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The LabVIEW Kinect code keeps rolling in. I am happy to share yet another example that is available for free download.

This one is very similar to John Wu’s LabVIEW + Kinect example I shared awhile back. Karl Muecke, NI R&D engineer, shares his 6D visualization example on the NI Robotics Code Exchange.

You can view a video screen capture of the demo and download his open source code here:

https://decibel.ni.com/content/blogs/MechRobotics/2011/04/19/kinect-6d-visualization-in-labview

Cyborg Fly Controls Mobile Robot Through Obstacle Course August 31, 2010

Posted by emiliekopp in labview robot projects.
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Erico Guizzo, editor of the IEEE Spectrum Automaton Blog, recently featured a cyborg fly application from Chauncey Graetzel and his colleagues at ETH Zurich’s Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. Essentially, Swiss researchers have devised a closed-loop system that uses a tethered fly to control a robot and perform obstacle avoidance. How is this possible? Check out Erico’s post to get a good breakdown of the system.

I should mention this application was a finalist in the Robotics category for the 2010 Graphical System Design Achievement Awards. This is an annual paper contest that recognizes amazing feats and innovative applications built using National Instruments hardware and software.

Dr. Graetzel and his team needed a control system that was super fast and super flexible. They used NI CompactRIO as an interface to an LED-based visual stimulus arena at temporal and spatial resolutions that allowed them to efficiently stimulate the fly’s visual system. LabVIEW software was used to record these signals and provide the real-time execution for stimulus generation.

Here’s what Dr. Graetzel had to say about using NI tools for his project:

LabVIEW and CompactRIO provided an ideal solution for building a control loop that incorporates a living insect and allows us to perform a variety of experiments. CompactRIO acquires and generates signals for a multitude of industry standards and extends custom-made research tools. In addition, we achieved major efficiency gains with the ability to distribute our application between a PC, the real-time controller, and the FPGA without having to learn several programming and design languages. The range of available add-on products and interfaces also offered great potential for future extensions and adaptations.

Here’s a video of the mobile robot successfully avoiding obstacles using the feedback from the fly (which is tethered inside the LED cylinder array):

Watch more videos and read Dr. Graetzel’s submission to the Robotics category in the Graphical System Design Achievement Awards contest here:

Designing a Robotic Device to Study Flying Insects Using LabVIEW and CompactRIO