Nowadays, NI has released some compact and cheap cRIO such as the sbRIO-9651. When used with a 3rd part board as the PED-board, the resulting system is powerful and fully compatible with LabVIEW. No tricks and drivers are required. It can take advantage of Ethernet communication, instead of USB which is very weak in harsh environment.
Hello all, a new control board based on the NI System on Module, formally sbRIO-9651, has been developed by an Italy based company. It is mainly devoted to industrial control as well as power electronics and drive applications. Each peripheral is supported by dedicated LabVIEW drivers as well as by demo projects... www.ped-board.com (UPDATE) Adapter Boards have been released for industrial and power electronics and drives applications: http://www.ped-board.com/adapter-boards/ Cheers, sirb