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LabVIEW Use in Undergraduate Engineering Design Course


ENGR 2050 Introduction to Engineering Design (IED) is a Sophomore / Junior level ... Fabricate and assemble a working prototype for test and exhibition. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: LabVIEW Use in Undergraduate Engineering Design Course

LabVIEW Use in Undergraduate Engineering Design
  • William J. Foley, Ph.D., P.E.
  • Clinical Associate Professor
  • Decision Sciences and Engineering Systems

The Setting
  • ENGR 2050 Introduction to Engineering Design
    (IED) is a Sophomore / Junior level first course
    in engineering design.
  • In AY 2001 2002, 640 students in 24 sections
    working as 92 design teams will complete the
  • Design experience starts with researching a new
    opportunity and concludes with a prototype.

Course Coverage
  • Design is presented as the integration of
    knowledge, skills, creativity, collaboration and
    hard work to solve problems and meet needs.
  • Significant instructional and experiential
    component of the course is teamwork skills,
    leadership, and ethical behavior.
  • Projects (inventions) involve connecting software
    with hardware to improve performance and expand
    options. MAKE IT SMART.

Design Project Steps
  • Faculty define a target area for study.
  • Students research area and identify or define an
    opportunity for improvement.
  • Design done from concept to detail level.
  • Design challenged and tested frequently.
  • Fabricate and assemble a working prototype for
    test and exhibition.
  • Post class pursuit includes patents.

LabVIEW Attraction in Projects
  • Dataflow programming approach.
  • Supports feedback control systems.
  • Data determines execution, a common control
  • Flow orientation lends itself to graphical
    representation of program paralleling early
    systems design work.

LabVIEW Attraction 2
  • Simulation of logic by running the program using
    simulated input.
  • On screen probing of data flows.
  • Simple user interfaces for parameters in code
    using dials and switches.
  • Virtual control panel shortens development time
    substituting for hardware.
  • Easy mapping to external data sources.

Uniqueness with LabVIEW
  • Students design their own VI application.
  • Students design and build their own sensors
    including signal conditioning and isolation.
  • Example Velocity measured by measuring time of
    travel between points. Math models developed and
    assumptions stated.
  • Boards are loaned out to student teams.
  • LabVIEW used in prototype process control.

LabVIEW Possible Because ...
  • LabVIEW available and accessible to all students.
  • Favorable pricing of data acquisition cards for
    laptops allows loan to student design teams.
  • Generous and strong support from Scott Rogers of
    local NI office during early use phase.
  • Two years of student to student support from NI
    funded student LabVIEW consultant.

Spring 2000 Project
  • Challenge Improve the instruction and learning
    of science by designing and building a Science
    Learning Machine.
  • Machine for classroom use.
  • Instruction on science topics fully integrated.
  • Entertainment required to foster learning.

Spring 2000 Projects
  • Sound wave cancellation.
  • Microphone picks up sound waves, displays signal
    on screen, and movable microphone to find
    cancellation location.
  • Gravity powered movement.
  • Conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy.
  • Measure and display velocity and acceleration.

Spring 2000 Projects 2
  • Doppler distance measurement.
  • Use reflected sound waves to measure distance.
  • Airflow and lift.
  • Wind tunnels with airfoils measuring airflow
    velocity and lift on airfoil.

Fall 2000 Project
  • Challenge Improve the independence of impaired
    persons living in the community in kitchen
  • Design for appeal to all users while meeting the
    special needs of the impaired in their own homes.

Fall 2000 Projects
  • Smart refrigerators record contents and usage
    recommending a shopping list.
  • Cooking appliances that prepare complete meals
    without human action after inserting ingredients.
  • Cabinets and storage solutions that place wanted
    item within reach.

Spring 2001 Project
  • Challenge Use technology to improve the
    physical fitness of the American public.
  • Focus on those most in need of improvement or
    those least likely to participate in physical
    fitness actions.

Spring 2001 Projects
  • Boxing / punching bag that evades the attack and
    records punch when hit.
  • Body cooling suit with resistance to movement
    that makes every action a physical fitness step
    but maintains body cool.
  • Exercise machines that measure and record
    progress towards fitness goals.

Fall 2001 Project
  • Challenge Find opportunities for increasing
    safety in households.
  • Apply universal design principles for broad
    market appeal.
  • Target areas of significant safety concern.

Fall 2001 Projects
  • Smart Medicine cabinets that dispense on
    schedule, order refills, and check medication
  • Fire warning, suppression, and isolation devices.
  • Water temperature controls for faucets.
  • Person location tracking systems with warning and
    alert logic.

Future Challenges
  • Hardware resources for student teams.
  • Students request hardware but supply is limited.
    Sharing is the norm and was the plan but students
    want their own.
  • Meeting LabVIEW consulting demand.
  • TAs learned LabVIEW OTJ. Graduation looms.
    Demand comes 27 / 7. Debugging focused on
    signals from the outside.