About National Instruments

At the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire, National Instruments (NI) presents the NI LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit, also known as DaNI, an industrial-grade, out-of-the-box robotics platform designed for teaching robotics and mechantronics concepts or for prototyping a robotic system, and Angry Eagle.

Read on to find out more.

About the booth

Through our interview, NI shared with us that their booth will showcase the above two items.  The robotic demo showcases a Platform that allows you to quickly start prototyping your own autonomous application. It comes with an NI Single-Board RIO embedded controller that is mounted on top of a Pitsco TETRIX erector robot base, Ultrasonic sensor, encoders, motors and battery. This is an easy-to-use platform to start designing your first autonomous robot.

The second demo is the Angry Eagle game with actual slingshot. A big slingshot is built to fire the angry eagle. A force sensor and a variable resistor are used to measure the force and the angle that the player asserted. The data collected is transmitted to the computer through WiFi using NI WiFi Data Acquisition device(DAQ). Upon receiving the data from the WiFi DAQ, the computer program simulate the force and fires an eagle to break the bricks. With LabVIEW, the graphical programming platform, and simple NI DAQ devices, a lot of computer games can be brought to reality without much knowledge in computing. 

Do visit their booth to speak with their engineers to learn more!

About the workshop

Besides the booth showcases, NI will also conduct a presentation entitled “Hack the Kinect and Other Cool Sensors with LabVIEW” . In this session, NI will introduce to you how to hack the Microsoft Xbox Kinect, iRobot Create, Neato lidar, Google Android, Apple iPhone, Texas Instruments ez430-Chronos, Nintendo Wii remote and Nunchuck, and the Arduino Uno with NI LabVIEW.
The common factor of the presentation and the booth is the platform behind all the interesting projects. This platform is called LabVIEW. LabVIEW is a graphical programming platform, inheriting the idea of a flowchart.  

They had conducted one session of the workshop at the first day, but you are still in time to catch them for the 1pm session today. Don’t miss it!

Encouraging more makers

When asked how we should encourage Singaporeans to make things, NI replied that the first step would be to educate Singaporeans on all the tools that are out there which will enable one to pretty much do whatever one wants. The next and much bigger step would be to provide Singaporeans access to these tools without breaking the piggy bank. NI’s main advice would be to find as many like minded individuals and work on team based projects, so that cost is distributed and teammates can motivate one another to stretch their goals further. They also acknowledge that the lack of facilities would be a limiting factor. NI is open to talking to anyone who is interested in building these core facilities up for Singapore.

Today is the second and last day of our Mini Maker Faire. Check them out!

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