Saturday, March 26, 2016

IOT Cloud Connector for LabVIEW

National Instrument's LabVIEW is leading technology for test and measurement domain. Today, IOT Cloud Connector, a LabVIEW library for IBM Bluemix / Watson IOT Platform was published in LabVIEW Tools Network. The library is contributed by Espotel and is freely available.

Logo of the IOT Cloud Connector library by Espotel.
Connecting LabVIEW to cloud enables countless  applications ranging from real-time condition monitoring to process control and robotics. The value proposition of LabVIEW is "improving productivity of engineers and scientist", and that it definitely does by enabling fast and easy development of measurement applications and signal processing.

IOT Cloud Connector leverages the productivity to yet another level by enabling fast and easy integration of smart measurements to power of Bluemix apps. Use of cloud enables collecting data from multiple and different sources, performing advanced analytics, and integrating with any other system.

Smart measurements means not all the raw measurement data is beamed up to the cloud but edge analytics of some sort is performed already in the measurement device itself. Most commonly this means signal processing type of data aggregation providing relevant key indicators for the cloud application. Vibration monitoring is a good example where data is collected at the rate of tens of thousands of measurements per second, and it definitely does not make sense to store each measurement point in cloud but relevant indicators only in order to understand the nature of the given vibration.

Analyze of the measured vibration data gives understanding of the current condition of assets. In some extend it enables predictive maintenance, but the full power of operational optimization is achieved only when the data is combined with other data sources like ERP, Finance, order book, production costs, etc. Cloud is definitely the place to do such advanced analytics, and that's why the IOT Cloud Connector for LabVIEW is needed.

IOT Cloud Connector uses MQTT protocol - the ISO/IEC 20922 standard - to connect any LabVIEW-enabled equipment to IBM Watson IOT Platform and further to Bluemix. The range of equipment covers any PC running most common operating systems; Windows, Linux, or Mac. Also all NI measurement equipment are supported, including compactRIO, Single-board RIO, SOM RIO and myRIO.

CompactRIO with various interface modules.
CompactRIO is perhaps the most known measurement equipment from NI. It utilizes the Reconfigurable I/O (RIO) architecture. The fundamental idea of RIO architecture is that I/O is not wired directly to CPU but there is programmable FPGA in between. This way each I/O pin is fully reconfigurable for different purposes.

User does not need to understand FPGA programming but LabVIEW does that on behalf of user. Custom FPGA programs can be also created with the graphical LabVIEW tool only, with no need to touch the FPGA code. Custom FPGA really does take all the performance out of the hardware, and very fast and complex signal processing can be performed in real-time.

LabVIEW and Bluemix are really the "killer app" combo for industrial condition monitoring.


  1. and joining LoRa with NI CompactRio,

  2. rfid tags Love to read it,Waiting For More new Update and I Already Read your Recent Post its Great Thanks.

  3. Hello,how can I post my data from Labview to cloud ?