Technical Report 2 Draft

Technical Report 2 Draft - LabVIEW Graphical Programming...

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LabVIEW Graphical Programming Advantages in Robot Arm Design Grant Corley, Albert Ho A&EP Lasers, Inc. 245 Clark Hall Ithaca, NY 14850 May 1, 2006 Abstract The graphical programming software package LabVIEW can be utilized by developers to easily and precisely control the robotics required in microchip processing. One “virtual instrument” is visually designed to record key coordinates in a robot arm’s desired microchip movement trajectory while a second transforms those coordinates into a smoothed replay of the trajectory. This graphical programming approach offers the same functionality as conventional C++ instruction-based programming while providing the advantages of reduced development time and cost. These advantages would prove extremely beneficial for our frequently changing product line that requires periodic upgrades and modifications. Thus, we recommend replacing our C++ coded operating software with a LabVIEW application for our company's new robotics facility. Introduction to Robot Arm Experiment The automation of robotics used in this company’s microchip processing facilities currently requires our developers to initiate long-term software projects that are time consuming and strain the development budget. Programs are written in C++, an instruction-based programming language that requires good documentation when code is passed between individual programmers on a development team. These programs need support for future patches and upgrades, but with poor documentation the code will be very difficult for our programmers to work with and modify. For this problem, we have identified National Instrument’s LabVIEW graphical programming package as an ideal candidate for replacing this company’s current instruction-based programming methodology. We initiated a project whose goal is to determine whether LabVIEW can replace programming in C++ in the development and support stages of software. Using the graphical interface provided, we built several LabVIEW programs with great ease and greater flexibility than their would-be C++ counterparts. In addition to this, we used these LabVIEW programs to easily program a robot arm to move rings between pegs, in order to simulate how the robot arm should behave in a microchip processing facility. As a result of this project, we determined that LabVIEW's unique graphical development interface provides the significant advantages of reduced time and cost for software projects in our interest, to the end of making our development efforts more productive and within budget.
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LabVIEW Background The LabVIEW graphical interface consists of “virtual instruments,” which are analogous to programs written in C++. They are written in a programming language called G, which shares the same programming concepts as C++ such as arithmetic logic, loops, conditional statements, functions and subroutines. Unlike C++, G uses no textual coding,
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  • Spring '06
  • COOL
  • Computer program, Serial port, robot arm

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