NI Week – Partner Alliance Day and Academic Forum

As you all know, some members of the Digilent team were at NI week for most of last week.

Standing outside of NI week with our new NI sunglasses.
Standing outside of NI week with our new NI sunglasses.

The first day we arrived was set up for the academic forum. Originally we had thought we only had the morning to set up, but luckily there was  time on Sunday (for two hours).

Unpacking all of our boxes. Luckily all the demos made it safe and sound.
Unpacking all of our boxes. Luckily, all the demos made it safe and sound.
All suited up and ready to go.
All suited up and ready to go.

We set up our booth including all of the LabVIEW demos, Pmod board and NI myRIO adapter boards display board.

Our Academic Forum booth with all the demos.

Unfortunately, the Command hooks were lost in transportation. Luckily, Larissa was able to make an emergency trip so our new banner was able to hang proud with our message for NI week — learn, make, and teach electronics. For those that don’t know, NI is all about encouraging people to do engineering and helping people engineer better. Digilent wants to help NI do engineering by helping people learn, make, and teach electronics. After all, electronics presents itself in every facet of engineering.

Our new banner!

At the academic forum we had a ton of giveaways including starter kits for our LED board, Pmod Demo, and jousting robots. As well as our adapter boards for NI myRIO and roboRIO. We also introduced the Pmod adapter for NI myRIO and roboRIO and made sure to give lots of those away

The Pmod Adapter for NI roboRIO.
The Pmod Adapter for NI roboRIO.

We even were able to set up in time to go to the Partner Alliance Day keynote on Monday morning. In the morning keynote, we learned all about how NI’s Alliance partner network.

We made it!
We made it!

The alliance partner network contains over 450 partners all over the world, with three main pillars. Integrators, consultants and ecosystems. To demonstrate their commitment to each partner they had a few partners come and share the projects they are working on.

A snapshot of the alliance day keynote. There was even an alliance day lounge.
A snapshot of the alliance day keynote. There was even an alliance day lounge.

In each case the representative from the partner company talking about NI’s impressive commitment to each of their partners. NI invests time and resources into their partners to make sure they are successful and getting the NI products they need to make their products efficiently, and ensure they are robust.  To read more about NI partners, you can view the NI partner directory.

The partners that were recognized had some impressive demos to show off. Here is a brief summary of each of their contributions.

Test and Measurement was the first partner that was highlighted. Together they created a test system for print heads.

The second company highlighted was iRADAR. They created a radar system to predict landslides before they happen, allowing people to evacuate in time.

Aledyne worked with NI to create a new Arduino compiler.

All of these highlighted applications created by NI partners with NI assistance and support were powered by LabVIEW.

The main takeaways from the keynote were that NI partners were growing (faster than NI in fact) and that NI sees their impressive accomplishments. They believe in a 3-tiered foundation for success: Build a relationship, meet the quota, and get feedback.

At the Academic keynote, we saw the same dedication but towards NI’s education partners. To demonstrate this they highlighted Tufts, UT Austin, Enable Education, PITSCO, University of Notre Dame, and American Public Universty.

A snapshot of the academic keynote.
A snapshot of the academic keynote.

With Tufts, NI worked to make LabVIEW compatible with Lego Mindstorms, allowing young students a quick visual programming experience with Lego.

With UT Austin they allowed Ross, a popular robotics platform, to work with LabVIEW. This means robots like Baxter and Nowbot can now be programmed with LabVIEW.

Enable Education and UNITE worked together to create interactive, mobile friendly lab material. This wouldn’t replace a traditional curriculum but is a tool to guide the students through labs, working to create an “Internet of Labs”

NI worked with Pitsco to create 3 embedded systems platforms in one kit.

With Notre Dame, they worked to find unused frequencies with LabVIEW communications to create better wireless connectivity.

They worked with American Public University to create a completely online electrical engineering curriculum. Collaborating, consulting, and critiquing along the process.

Next they highlighted the participants in the student design competition who creatic a Haptic Simulator for medical training, an auto balancing bycicle, and a stair climbing wheelchair.

Another snapshot of the academic keynote, showing how important academics is to NI.
Another snapshot of the academic keynote, showing how important academics is to NI.

To view any of the keynotes from NI week, visit here.

Along with the academic forum booths, there was also a sales conference going on. This allowed us to go to trainings in between our time spent at the booth. Personally I attended a class on how to make pictures have the most meaning, and on keeping wireless applications with Linux safe.

A keynote that was part of the sales conference.
A keynote that was part of the sales conference.

In just the first day at NI week I learned about NI partners, academic partners, photos, and wireless, and introduced our new Pmod Adapter.

After all of that information and networking, even the Digilent team had to rest.

Even James has to rest some times.
Even James has to rest sometimes.

We look forward to seeing NI and their many partners at NI week next year!

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