LabVIEW Hacker is an organization that has created a pretty awesome set of tools that make it easy to program an interface with various devices. The LabVIEW Hacker libraries are add-ons for LabVIEW, so if you want to learn more you need to know little bit about LabVIEW first.
What is LabVIEW?
So what exactly is LabVIEW? LabVIEW is National Instruments’ program development environment. The name is short for “laboratory virtual instrument engineering workbench”. NI created LabVIEW to enable domain experts to focus on building systems by abstracting the hardware and software. For example, their hardware and software allows a chemist to focus on chemistry and not get bogged down with analog signal conditioning for thermal couples or advanced programming techniques.
The software has two distinct features worth mentioning which are, its GUI builder, and graphical coding system. Unlike most other development environments, LabVIEW focuses on implementing code by connecting inputs and outputs of graphical blocks, rather than by organizing lines of text. The graphical language itself is referred to as G by most labVIEW users. On top of a graphical coding system, LabVIEW lets you seamlessly create a GUI interface alongside your code. Creating the GUI is so simple and intuitive it almost seems to build itself alongside your program!
Who is LabVIEW Hacker?
Now that you have a little background on LabVIEW, lets talk about what LabVIEW Hacker has done. Basically, LabVIEW Hacker (LVH for short) has created free open source add-ons for LabVIEW that lets you control and interface with various maker friendly devices. In a sense LVH has the same goals as LabVIEW, just with a different target audience in mind. The libraries they create are intended to allow Makers to focus on building their overall projects where they have expertise and prevent them from getting caught up in small technical details. For example, if you have an idea for a project using a Kinect, but don’t know how go about interfacing with one, LabVIEW Hacker provides a library and example project to help get you started.
The libraries currently available aren’t only limited to the Kinect. Below is list of all the things that are currently supported.
- Adept: An API for communicating with Digilent FPGA Boards
- AR.Drone: Library to Control AR.Drone Quad Copter
- EZ430-Chronos: Open Source Tool Kit for data acquisition from a the EZ430 watch.
- Leap: API for the leap Motion Controller
- LINX: Unified API for popular embedded systems like chipKIT, Arduino, myRIO, Raspberry PI
- Nest: An API for the Nest thermostat
- PlayStation 4 Controller: Interface LabVIEW with an PS4 Controller
- Phillips Hue: Control Phillips Hue Lights using LabVIEW
- XBMC: An API to interface with XBMC media player
- Xbox One Controller: Interface LabVIEW with an Xbox One Controller
That’s pretty much the gist of LabVIEW Hacker is all about. If you want to learn more or see some of LVH’s other projects, check out their webpage.