NI Days, held in Boston on November 5, was in many ways NI Week in a day. While smaller than the annual event held in Austin, Tex., NI Days had an exhibition and a full-day conference. Because the conference was held in Boston, there was a track dedicated to academics. In fact, there were quite a few students on hand to demonstrate their robots. The conference was capped off by Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST, who asked for volunteers to mentor students in robotics and STEM.
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About 800 engineers attended NI Days in Boston on November 5, 2013. The exhibition included equipment from National Instruments and many of its partners, plus a few student-built robots. The hall was quite busy in between conference sessions.
@Martin, I've been in Boston since the mid 80's and things certainly have changed in the tech community. There has been a huge shift towards life sciences...take a stroll through Kendall Square in Cambridge, the $Bs invested there have completely transformed it! Much more technology transfer is now happening from the many Universities to industry. I am involved in a couple of programs that are promoting entrepreneurship in this way. A good example of this creativity is Clotho, http://www.clothocad.org/, which is porting the concepts of electronics design automation to synthetic biology...a really cool CAD of the future!
@David, what's your take on the current Boston Technology scene? It doesn;t appear to be what it once was given the demise of the minicomputer (DEC, Prime, etc.) There was a resurgence of companies in the communications business about 10 or so years ago. Most were either acquired or went under. Defense electronics seems to be strong, though.
>The video showing the instrument controlling the ball to follow the light was awesome!
There are several excellent demos there last week. The rolling ball demo reminded me of a demo I saw years ago at a show. At the time (early 1990s) a company was demonstrating an industrial version of a Mac that was controlling electric model trains. There were four parallel tracks and four engines, each of a different color (blue, black, yellow and green). A monitor displayed an imsge of the traces and colorod dots that indicated the location of each engine. The Mac controlled the speed of each engine and the track switches. The engines moved in what seemed like a random motion. If one engine was headed for the end of the track and another engine was already there, the controller would either stop the oncoming engine so the one at the end of the line would back out and switch to another track or the oncoming engine would switch to another track.
The engines ran perfectly for the first two days of the show while the software engineer sat there all day. On the third day, the company president sat in the booth. Two engines crashed.
That's where I learned about the "Packard Effect." Supposedly at HP, a new product would run perfectly until Dave Packard entered the room.
During the morning keynote, Mike Santori talked about mobile devices and test. He started by asking anyone whearing a wtich to raise it in the air. Most people, including me, were not wearing one. Then he showed an image of a smartphone screen. Almost everyone had one. I had three with me at the time, two iPhones and an iPad.
NIDays 2013 Boston was a fine one-day event. NI pulled out all the srops to make a great event that far surpassed the previous one-day seminars!
The slideshow above conveys the interesting products and demos that were on display. The photo of Bloomy Controls new offering, the compactUTS, a functional test platform for simpler DUTS, is not too clear, so here's a new one below. Find out more about this capable tester at http://www.bloomy.com/compactuts/
The video showing the instrument controlling the ball to follow the light was awesome! It looks to be a god mix of industry and academics. Hope all who have attended this NI day enjoyed a lot!! Thanks for posting!!