NI Architect Summit: Object Oriented Programming in LabVIEW

Last week I attended the NI Architect Summit, and I saw some patterns emerge while sitting in on the frameworks track. All of the framework content was related to challenges in LabVIEW Object Oriented Programming (LVOOP). LabVIEW is sold as a software tool for scientists and engineers, yet also provides features including LVOOP for advanced users. The takeaways below speak to the challenge of transitioning from a procedural single-threaded dataflow design to a parallel messaging architecture using LVOOP.

CONEXPO – CONAGG 2014

What is it like to come to the CONEXPO show for the first time? Well, it would be easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the show and the distractions of Las Vegas. It is manageable by taking some time to put together a plan and to build a set of priorities for what you want to see.

The Caterpillar Display at CONEXPO.  Photo: Gary Honey

FIRST Robotics team 525 – Cedar Falls HS at the Central Illinois Regional Competition

DISTek fully supports STEMS (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education and the development of the next generation of engineers. Many DISTek employees have volunteered to work with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League programs at the elementary school level, and robotics programs at the secondary school level.
The FIRST website describes the program:

Love Letters To DISTek

Happy Valentine’s Day – DISTek Experts love their jobs!

Garys Heart

At DISTek, I am part of a variety of different projects, which keeps me constantly learning and applying different practices to new challenges. In addition, I am part of complete processes, from architecting a new test system to implementing it and training customers on their new interface – Ed

What is the difference between ISOBUS VT Version 3 and Version 4?

VIRTEC display.

The ISO 11783-6 standard was most recently released in 2010. As of this release, three common versions of the Virtual Terminal (VT) are specified. These versions are referenced in the standard as “Version 2”, “Version 3”, and “Version 4”. Based on recent ISOBUS Plugfest attendance, a survey of the industry shows a few Version 2 devices still in common use, a small number of Version 4 devices in use, and a large majority of devices using Version 3. The standard requires that an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) and a VT communicating via the VT standard should use the standard according to the lowest VT version of the pair, e.g. a VT at Version 4 and an ECU at Version 3 should use Version 3 communications.

LabVIEW Issues When Upgrading From Windows XP To Windows 7

In April 2014 Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP. Microsoft has developed a Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) to see if your current computer will be able to support the transition to Windows 7.

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Through experience and hard work, we’ve identified fixes to common issues moving LabVIEW to Windows 7. Some of the issues we have encountered during upgrades include getting administrative rights to the system and  accounting for the Windows 7 directory structure change where the files are located at “C:\Program Files (x86)\” instead of “C:\Program Files\” for non-native Windows 7 applications.

Additionally, issues may occur if your computer is part of a domain where certain Windows Services start up automatically on boot-up. If you run into a domain issue you may want to try the following:

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Case Study: Vehicle Controls for an Electro-Hydraulic Construction Machine

We were asked to assist in the development of the controls for a complex construction machine using Model Based Software Design (MBSD). This was the first project in which the OEM used MBSD and therefore it was a high-visibility project.

Heavy equipment in action.

We faced many challenges in this project. The control algorithm was very complex, and had already been developed by the OEM in Matlab – the accuracy of the implementation of the algorithm was critical. Verification of the algorithm was a key component of this project. Adding to the complexity, the input signals to the system were very noisy and required disturbance rejection. Any instabilities in the system had the potential to cause injuries or property damage, so it was key to tune the system properly. Requirements for the project were also being developed in parallel to implementation.

Modeling Automated Vehicle Guidance

Recently, DISTek completed a project to integrate a test system into the loop with automated vehicle guidance control systems on production ECU hardware in a laboratory environment.

This was done as an alternative to costly field testing, with the additional long term goal of developing an architecture that could be expanded to additional vehicle types.

Test stand.

Welcome to the DISTek Blog

Hello, I want to welcome you to the DISTek blog, a place for the talented engineering staff of DISTek Integration, Inc. to share knowledge with the world. To learn more about DISTek, who we are, and what we do, check out our website.

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On this blog, look for helpful software engineering tips, case studies, and interesting experiences from our embedded software, test system design, and model based software experts.

We will also be sharing pictures and info from shows we attend, and other fun stuff too.

I would suggest adding a bookmark, there is a lot to come!