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DCPreamp

LabVIEW 8 Student Edition - Comments for a newbie?

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Hello,

I'm new here and am new to LabVIEW. I am a robotics hobbiest and am considering purchasing LabVIEW 8 Student Edition to advance some of my projects. As a student, I qualify for the cheaper edition, but am always leary when a $1,000 to $4,000 software package sells for $80. Is it the same? What are the all of the additional parts, add-ons, modules surrounding the full, Professional editions? Pretty clueless, eh?

So, I'm a proficient computer user and have written a number of robotic interface applications in VB6 with good success. While VB6 will probably work for everything I'm trying to accomplish, it is painfully tedious and research-intensive to get even moderately complex functions to work predictably.

Which brings me here. . . I'm looking for a more straigtforward approach to developing the networked, I/O functions associated with telerobitics and so far, it appears LabVIEW may be the answer. Initially, I'm hoping to do the following: Link PCs wirelessly, share data back-and-forth between them, utilize the serial and USB ports for general I/O functions, and have graphical representation of signals and running processes. I would also like to add real-time video and some automated control loops for local control.

I'm currently reading the NI pdf documentation and the concepts are pretty clear, but I figured a few well-informed users could probably give me a useful direction much quicker. :worship:

Sound feasible? Any words of wisdom, suggestions, tell me what to go do with myself? Feedback and details are much appreciated.

Thanks much!

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I'm new here and am new to LabVIEW. I am a robotics hobbiest and am considering purchasing LabVIEW 8 Student Edition to advance some of my projects. As a student, I qualify for the cheaper edition, but am always leary when a $1,000 to $4,000 software package sells for $80. Is it the same? What are the all of the additional parts, add-ons, modules surrounding the full, Professional editions? Pretty clueless, eh?

Which brings me here. . . I'm looking for a more straigtforward approach to developing the networked, I/O functions associated with telerobitics and so far, it appears LabVIEW may be the answer. Initially, I'm hoping to do the following: Link PCs wirelessly, share data back-and-forth between them, utilize the serial and USB ports for general I/O functions, and have graphical representation of signals and running processes. I would also like to add real-time video and some automated control loops for local control.

The Student edition is the same as the FDS (Full Dev. system) which has most of what you need except the ability to build standalone executables. For that you need to add the Application builder. Otherwise you need to install the LV environment on every machine that you want to run your code on, and that could violate your licence agreement.

The Developer Suites include a lot of toolkits and addons thrown in, which are not part of the Student Edition. for example the Dev. Suite includes

-Database Toolkit

-Internet Toolkit

-PID control Toolkit

-SPC toolkit

-Report Generation for Microsoft Office Toolkit

-State Diagram Toolkit

etc.. but I think you don't need any of them for Robotics projects.

One thing is that the Vision stuff sells as a separate module to LabVIEW. This is not a part of the Student Edition, and is VERY expensive. You need licences for the 1394 driver to acquire images, and another to process the images (Vision Module), and a run-time licence if you ever deploy the application as an exe. So I would leave out the Vision part of your experimentation, unless you have access to it at your University.

For communication I would stick to serial for now. Note that you cannot use the USB port for general purpose IO. USB requires a system level driver to be installed in Windows for each USB device. You can use the NI-VISA libraries to talk to any USB Test & Measurement device.

Read the NI documentation, it is for the most part, well-written.

Good luck and have fun.

Neville.

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Which brings me here. . . I'm looking for a more straigtforward approach to developing the networked, I/O functions associated with telerobitics and so far, it appears LabVIEW may be the answer. Initially, I'm hoping to do the following: Link PCs wirelessly, share data back-and-forth between them, utilize the serial and USB ports for general I/O functions, and have graphical representation of signals and running processes. I would also like to add real-time video and some automated control loops for local control.

You can certainly do an amazing amount of things with labView with little work in comparison to other environments, however, after reading your post a few times you are going to need more than just some base student edition. It is true that LabView costs a great deal compared to other environments, but it is the lowest cost to develop with especially when it comes to some of the things you want to do. The support and hardware capabilites of LabView are without real equivalents (except to other NI products....!).

I would check to see if your university engineering department has a more complete package available. You can buy the student package to start with, but use the schools entire package for the more complex things you want to do.

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As Neville pointed out, the student edition is basically identical to the FDS, but one other thing which is rather annoying about it is that every front panel will always have the watermark of the student edition. If you're working with a large enough resolution this should hopefully not bother you too much.

The wireless stuff can be implemented through the Bluetooth or TCP functions (I recommend the TCP over Wi-Fi) and it is extremely easy in LV.

You should consider the fact that if you are completely new to LV you might have trouble producing a complex application - LV is much simpler to learn and use than other languages, but it's paradigm is somewhat different, and to produce quality results in complex systems requires some experience.

P.S. Stay away from the base version (the $1,000 one). It lacks some important stuff (like the ability to configure event structures).

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Hi There,

Thanks for the quick, insightful replies. It would seem this is the ideal place for me to ask.

I just dug up my school enrollment papers to fax, so I'll pick the student package next week - barring any bizzare acts of salesman intervention.

Student Edition splashed accross the front - a little annoying, but I'll live. It should be a good enough learning tool to let me decide if I want to go "Pro" with a marketable product, or keep this for fun.

Considering the ever-advancing scope of hobby robotics, NI might consider a version of LabVIEW geared towards the user between the student and the full-blown Pro version (cost, not functionality). I read Nuts-N-Volts, Servo, and Robot magazine, along with other publications, and having watched the momentum of hobbiest electronics and robotics grow all the way to the DARPA Grand Challenge, FIRST robotics, and many others, it may be a good market to explore. I've seen lots of very technically savvy ten-year-olds working in robotics who will likely become professionals with lots of software purchasing power.

As far as the cost and complexity of using LabVIEW for handeling video, that's the easiest solution. I will most likely use something a Linksys video wi-fi system or even more likely a simple video transmitter/receiver system. The transmitter/receiving actually gives me the most camera options for the lowest cost/complexity.

For networking, I will most likely go wi-fi with an ad-hoc network. I don't see any reason to go bluetooth at this time and don't see it's benefits for my application.

Thanks again, and much appreciated,

Paul

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Hello!

I am using LabVIEW to develop a prototype system. My task is to capture images from a network camera (Linksys WVC54GC IP camera) and show them in a client application. I have downloaded and included the OCX provided by Linksys, but I cannot capture the images. Can you please guide me regarding this? Which method I am missing on?

I am attaching the .ocx and my test VI. What type of parameters to supply to properties like FrameRate. I have no idea about this.

Thanks ahead!

-----

QUOTE (yen @ May 27 2006, 08:34 PM)

As Neville pointed out, the student edition is basically identical to the FDS, but one other thing which is rather annoying about it is that every front panel will always have the watermark of the student edition. If you're working with a large enough resolution this should hopefully not bother you too much.

The wireless stuff can be implemented through the Bluetooth or TCP functions (I recommend the TCP over Wi-Fi) and it is extremely easy in LV.

You should consider the fact that if you are completely new to LV you might have trouble producing a complex application - LV is much simpler to learn and use than other languages, but it's paradigm is somewhat different, and to produce quality results in complex systems requires some experience.

P.S. Stay away from the base version (the $1,000 one). It lacks some important stuff (like the ability to configure event structures).

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QUOTE (Vaibhav @ Dec 2 2008, 11:26 AM)

Hello!

I am using LabVIEW to develop a prototype system. My task is to capture images from a network camera (Linksys WVC54GC IP camera) and show them in a client application. I have downloaded and included the OCX provided by Linksys, but I cannot capture the images. Can you please guide me regarding this? Which method I am missing on?

I am attaching the .ocx and my test VI. What type of parameters to supply to properties like FrameRate. I have no idea about this.

Thanks ahead!

If you're looking for help, you should start your own thread. Posting your question on top of DCPreamp's is considered 'thread-jacking' and isn't terribly polite.

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