Thursday, June 09, 2016

Introducing LabVIEW support for Raspberry Pi 2 and BeagleBone Black

For the last 6 months, a friend and I have been working on a really cool project, and now I can finally talk about it.

We've always wanted a way to use LabVIEW to program the amazing Linux-based maker devices like the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone Black.  It seems like a natural fit for programmers that are new to distributed programming, embedded devices, and Linux.  LabVIEW has been an excellent way to write, debug, and deploy embedded applications over a network with the LabVIEW Real-Time module.

So we set out to port the LabVIEW Real-Time module to the BBB and RPi2.  Mainly this consisted of getting the LabVIEW run-time engine running on the BBB/RPi2 and writing some kind of I/O library to make it easy to do things like reading and writing digital lines, reading analog inputs, and communicating on I2C and SPI buses.

In the end, we got it all working and released it to the public, and it's actually affordable as well ($50 + cost of hardware).  All you need is a copy of LabVIEW 2014, the (free) LINX toolkit, and a BeagleBone Black or Raspberry Pi 2 or 3. See this link for more info.

We also spent some time putting together some respectable tutorials to help people get started.

What will you do with LabVIEW on a BBB or RPi?  I'm looking at automating the beer making process, and I've got some friends that want to use it with rockets and robots and other interesting things...