LabView a graphical approach to programming languages
What is LabVIEW?
Laboratory Virtual Instrument Engineering Workbench(LabVIEW) is a development environment and system-design platform for a visual programming language which was created by the company called National Instruments “wiki”. It is commonly used by electrical, electronics, instrumentation or mechatronics engineers in industries. LabVIEW can be used for any engineering applications that require test, measurement, and control. It runs on a variety of embedded platforms such as FPGA, microprocessors and even microcontrollers like Arduino.
Unlike other text-based programming languages such as C or Python, LabVIEW uses graphical programming method. This means programmers drag and drop predefined blocks to create their programs. If you are familiar with traditional text programming, this method may seem hard at first. However, it is more convenient and time-saving when you are used to it. Background knowledge in programming is not required for you to use LabVIEW so it is very suitable for beginners.
The graphical approach makes a complete beginner understands concepts like loops, variables or conditions because they can see the data flow in LabVIEW. A user can even slow down the execution mode and watch the program run slowly, step by step which is very useful for debugging. LabVIEW consists of a front panel and block diagram. Block diagram is where users write their code and the output will be displayed on a front panel.
LabVIEW in robotics
LabVIEW contains many add-ons modules such as for Arduino, LINX and even robotics.LabVIEW Robotics contains everything you need to design a sophisticated robotic system. This includes robotics algorithms like obstacle avoidance and path planning. Communication protocols like SPI, I2C, and UART is also contained in a predefined block which is very easy to use and does not need deep knowledge in that field. Furthermore, tools for image processing, motion, and control design also come with this robotic module. You can also create a 3D design of your robot in LabVIEW and simulate it using various mechanical parts, sensors, and obstacles that are readily available.