Development of Systems for Technical Training in the Field of Physics

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"An outstanding feature is the NI Vision Development Module and Acqusition Software, which acquires, processes, and analyzes images from cameras to perform kinematic analysis, detection, and localization of objects based on the computer vision scientific discipline."

- César Bonilla, EDIBON, Technical Director

The Challenge:
EDIBON needed to develop teaching units to drive the learning of the principles, techniques, technologies, and applications of physics, both at the industrial and research levels.

The Solution:
The company used the latest technology from NI to develop a 3D physics system to study areas such as electric fields, magnetic fields, mechanics, acoustics, optics, and thermodynamics.

Author(s):
César Bonilla - EDIBON, Technical Director
Andrés Garro - EDIBON, Software Manager
Nuria Rafael - EDIBON, Mechanics Manager

EDIBON specializes in designing technical training equipment for several industries, including physics, energy, mechanics, thermodynamics, chemical engineering, environmental and more.

Due to the extensive use of increasingly complex physical applications in engineering, new technologies that apply to industries such as energy, nuclear, and biomedical are rising. For that reason, we required an up-to-date and adapted technical training to help both technicians and engineers understand the fundamentals on which those applications are based. This would equip us to deal with new solutions and improvements for those applications successfully.

In response to that demand, we designed the EFAC unit to study physical sciences, which include energy, matter, time, and space, as well as their interactions.

The objective of the unit is to reproduce a basic physical phenomenon that may help to understand more complex physical phenomena. We can perform this process in an open and autonomous manner. It is based on advanced graphic and control tools, so we can observe it in real time. 

A robotic arm with probes, light, temperature sensors, Hall effect sensors, ultrasound emitters and receivers, high-sensitivity microphones, and other hardware elements scans areas in the space. Together with view cameras, these aid the study of basic principles or fundamental laws, such as Gauss’s law, Lenz’s law, refraction, thermodynamic principles, and more. We can also study other branches of physics. For example, we can study:

  • Electric fields, which are important at an industrial level and increasingly important for means of transportation
  • Magnetic fields, which are applied to the medical industry or in data storage
  • Mechanics, which are essential in automotive industry
  • Acoustics, which are important for noise pollution control
  • Optics, which are a communications engine
  • Thermodynamics, which is vital for energy efficiency in architecture and the development of new resistant materials

 


Figure 1. Computer-Controlled 3D Physics System, EFAC

 

The EFAC unit includes a SCADA software we developed using LabVIEW and a PCIe-6321 high-efficiency and low-latency multipurpose DAQ device. These help us perform experiments in real time and process test data. They also help represent results in 3D, such as electrical load distribution, magnetic force lines, acoustic signal amplitude, intensity maps, temperature distribution in space, and the study of the disturbance consequences on them.


Figure 2. SCADA Software to Study the Magnetic Field Intensity and the Force Lines in the Space

 

An outstanding feature is the NI Vision Development Module and Acqusition Software, which acquires, processes, and analyzes images from cameras to perform kinematic analysis, detection, and localization of objects based on the computer vision scientific discipline.


Figure 3. SCADA Software Based on Computer Vision to Detect and Locate Objects and for Their Kinematic Study

 

All units include two additional software packages, Interactive Computer Aided Instruction (ICAI) software, and, EDIBON Software Development KIT (ELK). We use ICAI to perform practical exercises and tests with the units, assess the users, obtain statistical results about their progress, and more.


Figure 4. Interactive Computer Aided Instruction (ICAI) Software of the Physics Area

 

We use the ELK to get started with LabVIEW in a practical way to access the source code of applications for these units and widen their functions, which results in customizable SCADA systems anda better understanding and use of the units.


Figure 5. Physics Toolkit of the Software Development Kit Based on LabVIEW (ELK)


Results

We combined NI software and hardware to develop applications for the qualitative and quantitative study of physical concepts related to the industrial and technological fields. We reduced solution and integration costs by up to 30 percent.

 

Author Information:
César Bonilla
EDIBON, Technical Director
C/ Del Agua, 14. Polígono San José de Valderas
Leganés 28918
Spain
Tel: +34-916199363
Fax: +34-916198647
edibon@edibon.com

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