Product news: August 2012
Design software enhances support for robotics, motion control and vision
The latest version of National Instruments’ LabView design software includes enhanced modules for motion control, robotics simulation and machine vision systems. LabView 2012 also incorporates productivity enhancements and supports mobile apps for displaying and controlling systems on an iPad.
LabView’s SoftMotion module now includes motor control VIs (virtual instruments) for brushed servo and stepper motor controllers and supports programmatic table creation for contour moves. It can generate motion profiles using a new “solve profile” method. There is also a new shortcut for starting and stopping SolidWorks simulations.
The robotics module (above) can now import standard CAD robot models and provides improved support for common types of robotic arms. There a new rangefinder indicator and various VIs for roles including configuring steering frames, acquiring kinematic parameters, and simulation. The robotics simulator is a physics-based simulator that emulates robotics designs and accepts 3D CAD model designs from packages such as SolidWorks and Google SketchUp.
Improvements to the vision development module include support for binocular stereo vision, optimisations for parallel execution, and combining reading of 2D barcodes such as data matrix and QR codes into a single step. There are also new tools for high-performance analysis and advanced image processing.
LabView’s stability has been improved and self-paced online training is now available. The software supports a large portfolio of new hardware products and recommends application architectures to save time, ensure scalability and reduce maintenance costs.
“Building a system fast is important, but it’s equally important to build it right – that means using solid architectures and proven development practices,” says Dr James Truchard, president, CEO and co-founder of National Instruments. “New features and resources in LabView 2012 promote training and drive development practices to help our customers deliver high-performance and high-quality systems in less time, thereby minimising development and maintenance costs.”