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Re: Makers Change the World and Tools Change the Maker: NI Expands Reach in Maker Space

Article from Ray Hsu, Section Manager, Academic Programs, National Instruments


In the United States alone, 40 million adults identify themselves as makers, of which 97 percent attended college and 31 percent are employed in science and engineering fields (according to The Maker Movement and the Business of Making white paper by Make). The maker community has been thriving for years, but with growing access to professional-grade tools, the maker movement is now bringing engineering into the mainstream.

To help foster collaboration and creative networking among this powerful community, NI is launching LabVIEW MakerHub, an online community for makers using LabVIEW. LabVIEW MakerHub is designed to help makers collaborate, share projects, participate in challenges, and find inspiration from the amazing things people build using LabVIEW. LabVIEW MakerHub hosts open-source LabVIEW add-ons for Kinect One, the Nest thermostat, Arduino, chipKIT, and other maker-friendly hardware and software. 

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For nearly 40 years, NI has provided engineers and scientists with tools that accelerate productivity, innovation, and discovery. Now, NI is making these same professional-grade tools available to makers by introducing the LabVIEW Home Bundle.

The LabVIEW Home Bundle is a specially licensed, noncommercial version of the award-winning LabVIEW system design software targeted for at-home and maker use. This bundle, available for $49 USD, includes the following:

  • LabVIEW Full Development System
  • LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module
  • LabVIEW MathScript RT Module

LabVIEW MakerHub provides LabVIEW training designed specifically for makers, such as the new video tutorial series on the SparkFun Inventor’s Kit for LabVIEW and the Digilent Physical Computing Kit for LabVIEW.

And to help makers get started, NI is partnering with Digilent and SparkFun (coming soon) to bundle LabVIEW Home in a kit with sensors and actuators, better enabling maker applications to interact with the real world.

Although do-it-yourself hardware like Arduino, BeagleBone, and Raspberry Pi promise low-cost hardware with impressive potential, they lack a cohesive experience. Writing software for a board-level computer is still a major hurdle for many users, and they are left using disparate tools that were not necessarily designed to work together.

LabVIEW has proven the value of unparalleled hardware/software integration in the professional market for years, and now NI is making that experience available to makers. With growing access to professional tools, the maker community is set to usher in the next industrial revolution.

Comments
Member mjo
Member

Is this only available to the US market or will it be  worldwide distribution?

"sure there is more than one way to skin a cat, but a cat can only be skinned once."
Member

Are there plans to release a Linux version of the home bundle?

Active Participant

Hey mjo,

LabVIEW Home is available world wide.  You can currently order directly from Digilent.com worldwide, but international shipping charges may apply.  We're also working on providing LabVIEW Home through distributors around the world including Digilent's world wide distributors in the next couple months.

Eric_MyNi,

LabVIEW Home is currently Windows only but if you're interested in a Linux version this is the type of feedback we'd like to hear on the MakerHub forums.

Let us know if you have any more questions.

Thanks!

-Sam K

Member

Hi Sammy_K,

Can we order localized version of LV, i.e., French, German, Japanese, Korean, or Chinese?

Thanks,

Rieko

Member

Can the Home Bundle build executables?

And let me put in a plug for a Mac version too.

Active Participant LuI
Active Participant

Great idea!

Will try it for sure. But appbuilder is a must IMHO!

Greetings from Germany!

--

LuI

Member

Definitely another plug for Mac/Linux support. I have given up on Labview due to a lack of mac support for both Labview software and more importantly, labview HW.  I currently use Python.

Member

Does NI have plans to enter the low-cost embedded computing market, too? (Similar to arduino/raspberry pi but with higher quality.)

Member

I, too, call for a Mac version of the LabView home bundle.  I do not do any of my Home or Maker stuff in Windows.

Active Participant

Jmizener and Lul,

LabVIEW Home does not currently include Applicaiton Builder.  Would you be willing to share your plans for building exe's on the MakerHub forums?  This will help us provide the solution for makers possible.

Stwspoon, jmizener and alabrador,

Would you be willing to share your comments about Mac / Linux support with the MakerHub community.  I'm specifically interested to hear more about your typical workflow / dev setup what types of projects your working on, and if 'Windows only' is a deal breaker (which is sounds like it is for stwspoon and alabrodor) or just an inconvenience.


Thanks!

-Sam K

Member

I currently do fairly simple LabView app development for a factory, of course on Windows, and make exe files.  At home I am 100% Mac and don't do anything on Windows (except run Quicken under Parallels and I'm about to give that up too).  I like LabView and enjoy using it at work.  I do not currently have any concrete project ideas for LV, but am familiar enough with it that if there were a Mac version, especially with an app builder, I'd buy a copy just to have.  I'm that way with tools anyway (how often do I use my biscuit joiner?) and the $50 price point is tempting -- once you have the tool, you start to see projects that use it.  I like that there is Arduino support in LV but I have not had a need to control any hardware from a PC yet, although I cannot rule that out in the future.  Actually, as I type this something occurred to me...

Member

If I were to post something about wanting Mac/Linux/App Builder on the MakerHub, where would it go?

Active Participant

Let's use the General Discussion section for feedback, and suggestions.

Thanks!

-Sam K

Member

I have been posting to the "Labview Home Edition" thread in General Discussion.

Member

While I use multiple platforms at work -- Macs, Unix (various) and Linux (various), and Windows -- I use Macs almost exclusively at home.  I have an Ubuntu box and a Raspberry Pi for tinkering at home, but the Ubuntu box (an old leftover PC) is mainly a backup server and not used for much else.

My last big project at home was a Raspberry Pi/Arduino "robot".  I used a spare Mac to communicate with the RPi, and the RPi programmed and communicated with the Arduino.  I also did a little FORTH tinkering with an Arduino, programmed by the Mac.

I try to spend as little as possible with these projects, so Windows-only is a deal-breaker for me.  I simply don't want to spend money on a Windows box that I'd not use for anything else.

Oh, yes:  I use Labview on a Windows PC at work.

Active Participant

Rikko,

When you purchase LabVIEW Home the serial number you receive will activate Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, Japanese, and Korean.   If you're using a non-english version of LabVIEW just make sure to grab the correct installer for your language linked above.

-Sam K

Member

Will the home version work with any of the other RIO boards I have the board that came with the RIO training kit. but since I left my old employer I don't have access to full development LabView with the real time plugin.

Active Participant

The LabVIEW Home Bundle does not include LabVIEW Real Time.

-Sam K

Member

Although MAC and Linux versions would be very nice, the inclusion of the Application Builder, at least as an option, is a MUST IMHO. Most maker devices are standalone and must be able to bootup and execute code on powerup. They often use an LCD panel for a user interface, but rarely anything more.

Member

I can imagine that if NI includes an Application Builder in a future Home Bundle, it will generate executables for the host PC and not the slave Arduino (or whatever).  The Arduino support today slaves the little guy to the host PC and the LV program on the host communicates with with the slave over a serial interface.  I supposed it would be possible for LV to generate executable code for the Arduino (or whatever) but that landscape is changing so fast and there are so many forks and variants that I can't imagine NI keeping up with more than a few of them.  Not to mention that LV has a fair amount of code overhead for which an Arduino (or whatever) has no space. A drag-and-drop IDE for a wearable processor like an Adafruit Trinket is probably something that NI is not looking at creating (although it wold be kind of cool).

Our NI host can comment on this and correct me if I've got it wrong.