NI Week is Coming!

It is that time of year again! We here at Digilent are packing up all of our projects to set out for the sunny skies of Austin, Texas for NI Week!

The Digilent crew at NI Week last year, looking like they are about the drop the hottest album of 2015.
The Digilent crew at NI Week last year… causally looking like they are about the drop the hottest album of 2015.

In celebration of this upcoming event, we will take a brief look back at some past NI Week demos we have seen and loved, as well as talk about some of what we will be bringing this year.

The self playing guitar.
Self-Playing Guitar.

One of our favorite features of NI Week is the myriad of consistently amazing demos on display. Some of the most memorable demos we saw from last year include a Self-Playing Guitar, a Flying Dart Board, and even a Home Automation demo… which was powered by LabVIEW!

Flying Dart Board
Flying Dart Board.

These inspiring projects served to show not only the awesome capabilities of these technologies, but also the incredible things that people can come up with!

James details his favorite demo from the 2015 event below:

“One of the coolest demos that I was able to see was a myRIO controlling a guitar. Through the use of LabVIEW, users were able to choose a song and LabVIEW would read the corresponding music notes and send the information to another controller which controlled all of the pneumatic pumps that played the guitar. To me, this was a great way to showcase multiple systems interacting with each other in a style that was easy to see.”


In addition to smart instruments captivating our ears, many of the other projects also caught our eye.The Flying Dart Board boasted the ability to to move its board in such a manner so that any dart (shot from a NERF gun) could hit the bulls-eye. Another impressive demo we saw utilized the chipKIT WF32 and LabVIEW to give you real-time updates of what teas you have and how full the teapot is on a smart home coffee table.


Additionally the table could communicate with your cell phone to change the table lights to alert you you if you have a text or phone call. It also allowed you to control the mood of the room with a simple motion of your hand using the LEAP motion controller!

Despite the always-impressive other demos at this event, we are more than excited to also see what people think of what we will be showcasing as well this year, including the notorious Claw Game…as well as some newcomers!

You will have to stay tuned to the blog this week and next, or stop by booth 140 to get the full details on these projects, but we can offer a few hints to what we will be bringing…

And by hints I mean full, comprehensive project descriptions. Because as fun as riddles and cryptic games are, we are just too excited to hold off on showcasing these amazing projects. So without further ado, allow me to introduce the second demo on our roster behind the Claw Game… the PmodACL Jumpbox!


Ella details her execution on this project her previous blog post, and on her Instructable. When asked about the inspiration for such a device she is quoted below:

“Using the PmodACL2, the chipKIT WF32, and LabVIEW, I combined my interests and made a simple exercise box that measures the quality of your landing, the time in-between each jump and the force of each landing.”


Considering this may be one of the very few times one gets an opportunity to not only explore Digilent technology but also jump onto it with your entire body weight, we hope you get a chance to drop by and check out this project next week!

Picture of "Seismometer" Exercise Box
The Jumpbox, looking all cushy and unassuming.

While a demo that demands physical exercise might be pretty breathtaking,  our next featured project could be considered downright heart-stopping… A DIY ECG machine by Austin!

(Well.. not actually heart-stopping. At least not if used properly.)

Picture of Circuit setup

In this project Austin utilizes the Analog Discovery 2 and LabVIEW to create a homemade electrocardiograph (ECG).  According to him, the goal of the project was to “Create a machine is to amplify, measure, and record the natural electrical potential created by the heart. An ECG can reveal a wealth of information about cardiac regulation, as well insights into pathological conditions.”IMG_7899.JPG

He employed the power of LabVIEW to simplify the circuitry by eliminating noise reduction components, as well as visualize the data.

Picture of LabVIEW code
Picture of the LabVIEW code .

This biometric-inspired build will be set up next week so make sure to stop by and see for yourself!

The final demo that we will be showcasing this year involves a sumo-inspired showdown between the Raspberry Pi and the BeagleBone Black. We present to you… the SumoBots!


Both bots are coded with LabVIEW, and use PmodJSTK2, PmodAD2, PmodLVLSHFT, a WiPi in addition to some other materials. They will be piloted by our interns at NI Week for the ultimate showdown!


These aggressive little robots demonstrate not only the seamless connectivity of their respective hardware with LabVIEW, but also allow for the interns to get some of their apparent long-held anger out.


We cannot wait until next week, where the winner will be decided!

Additionally we are excited to have our store on the floor this year, so if you want to build these bots at home (or see something else you like!) you will be able to purchase it onsite.

While we put the finishing touches on our demos we would love to hear from you guys. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s NI Week?


Be the 1st to vote.

About Miranda Hansen

I enjoy creative writing, engineering, thinking, building, exploring and sharing with people. Huge aficionado of spending time thinking about things that “don’t matter.” I am very interested in unconstrained creativity. I love cross-discipline ideas and all of their integration into complete original systems. And I like things that do things.

View all posts by Miranda Hansen →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *