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LabVIEW Robotics Simulator

In order to develop software or test a new algorithm for solving the problem, it is not at all necessary to have the most mobile robot at hand. To do this, it is enough to have a computer and a robot simulator, which will replace a physical robot. And such a simulator is present in the LabVIEW Robotics Module, the work with which will be described in this series of articles.

A blue ball was loaded onto a pallet in a robot simulator in LabVIEW
Simulator Operator Interface

LabVIEW Installation

Learning robotics or testing your new algorithm is possible remotely, not only using the acquired license from the educational institution, but also – a trial period of the latest software version that anyone can get.

To run the example, you need the following software from National Instruments:

  • LabVIEW
  • LabVIEW Real-Time
  • LabVIEW Robotics
  • Vision Development
  • IMAQdx driver

In order to install the above software, you must follow the steps below.

1. Register on ni.com

In order to download the installation distribution from the official NI website, you must have a registered account. If you don’t have an account yet, go to ni.com and sign up.

2. Download NI Package Manager

Recently, all the operations of installing or uninstalling NI software are performed using the NI Package Manager (not to be confused with the VI Package Manager!). If you download any latest distribution from the NI website, then this distribution will be a copy of the NI Package Manager with a saved list of the software you selected on the website.

One of the easiest ways to install the above modules is to download and run the most complete distribution from NI: Software Platform Bundle. It contains most of the available software with some exceptions. You can do this as follows:

2.1 Go to the download center at ni.com/downloads. Do not forget that you must log in to your account on the site, otherwise it will not work to download the installation distribution

2.2 Enter “Software Platform Bundle” in the text box

2.3 Download the installation distribution by clicking on the Download button

3. Software installation

3.1 Install NI Package Manager

3.2 Установите необходимые программные модули

4. Trial Extension

At the end of the LabVIEW installation, the installation distribution package offers reasonable solutions to all licensed issues. To get a 45-day trial period at LabVIEW, follow the steps below.

5. Installation example

5.1. To install the example, download and unzip the archive to a temporary folder.

Note. Make sure that the example has been unpacked so that only English characters are in the path. If the project folder contains symbols other than English in the path, then the example will start with an error or LabVIEW simply will not open the project you specified.

6. Running example

6.1. Open the project file Simulation Example 1.lvproj, which is located on the path of The Simulation Example 1\Example 1. You should open the Project Window of the following form:

6.2 Open and run Simulated Robot Example 1.vi

6.3 When you start Simulated Robot Example 1.vi, the simulation starts and a simulator window appears with the robot

6.4 Also, when starting Simulated Robot Example 1.vi, the User Code.vi front panel will open, which can be used to control the robot

You can use the Forward, Backward, Left, and Right buttons to control the movement of the robot wheels.

The controls J1 Position (rad), J3 Position (rad) and J5 Position (rad) will allow you to move the manipulator up-down, forward-backward and close-open the grip, respectively.

The Camera Position (rad) control allows you to rotate the camera so that colored balls fall into the camera’s field of view.

Try to turn the robot to the left to the colored balls, the camera – down at the level of the balls and grab one of the colored balls using the manipulator. Then place the captured colored ball in one of the pallets.

In the next article, we will take a step towards completing this task automatically.