To accomplish this project in three weeks the engineers needed a programming language and flexible hardware package that would allow them to get their prototype up and running quickly. This document will provide an overview of the tools used in the prototyping process that allowed them to accomplish this.
Figure 1: The NI cRIO-9074 Controller
The hardware platform that the Waterloo Labs engineers chose was the CompactRIO. They used the cRIO-9074 8-slot integrated real-time controller that combines the embedded controller and chassis containing the FPGA in a single unit. The 8-slot chassis allowed the engineers to select the C-Series modules that they would need and give them additional room to grow as their design needs changed. Then they selected the NI 9403 and NI 9201 C Series I/O modules to connect to the different sensors and actuators that they were using.
Developer Zone: Eight Technical Considerations for Prototyping Faster
Developer Zone: From Rapid Prototyping to Low-Cost Deployment with NI CompactRIO and NI Single-Board RIO
Developer Zone: Prototyping - A Key to Innovation
Developer Zone: Eight Rules for Prototyping