NI's Gowrishankar Hosakere (left) and Phil Hester in Bangalore, Nov. 2011. Inset: myDAQ ( INDIATECHONLINE photo)
With myDAQ, NI lowers the bar for science projects -- from college to school

It's never too early  to build instruments!

Bangalore, November 22 2011: Pioneers in graphical programming solutions, National Instruments, have made a subtle but significant shift in positioning new offerings, centred around their flagship product LabView – a broadening of focus that now embraces not just college, but school users. They have now launched in India, an instrumentation and control tool, myDAQ, which students can use to perform experiments anywhere, anytime for a reasonable cost. The handy device is in fact an application powerhouse, with the ability when latched on by its USB connector to a laptop or PC, to morph into eight different virtual instruments – including common test and measuring tools like oscilloscope, waveform generator, digital multimeter etc. The programmable interface to LabVIEW allow students to perform dozens of laboratory-style experiments anywhere, anytime in dormitory, coffee shop, or park bench.

Phil Hester, Senior Vice President of R&D, based at NI’s Austin ( Texas, US) headquarters, in India recently, spoke to IndiaTechOnline, suggesting that myDAQ could well end up as the science and engineering equivalent of Lego’s Mindstorms robot kits for school kids.

Designed by National Instruments, around analogue ICs from Texas Instruments, NI myDAQ provides a complete set of capabilities that students can harness throughout their studies and even into their engineering careers, Hester suggested. .

While myDAQ’s iPod compatibility will allow school kids to mix-n-match audio and set up audio experiments of their own, the device which comes with two differential analogue Input and analogue output channels (200 ks/s, 16 bit, +/- 10 Volts); eight digital Input and output Lines (3.3 Volt TTL-compatible) and a 60 Volt digital multimeter (DMM) for measuring voltage, current, and resistance, is sufficiently instrumented to serve more demanding applications.

Gowrishankar Hosakere, NI’s Bangalore Branch Manager, said the company had set up a dedicated site to serve Indian users –  . When bundled with a student edition of LabView, myDaq costs just under Rs 15,000. However it is presently being made available to educational institutions rather than individual students in India, Hosakere added.