Archived: LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module ReadmeThis document has been archived and is no longer updated by National Instruments
Primary Software Version: 2011
Primary Software Fixed Version: N/A
Secondary Software: N/A
I have not installed the LabVIEW Robotics Module. Can I still access the readme file?
This file contains important information about the LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module, including installation instructions, new features, and known issues.
The LabVIEW Robotics Module is a software package that allows you to develop robotics applications using LabVIEW. The Robotics Module provides robotics-related algorithms, drivers that allow you to control certain sensors, hardware and software setup wizards, and example VIs that demonstrate robotics concepts.
The Robotics Module has the following requirements:
Note Some Robotics Module features, such as the Robotics Project and Hardware Setup wizards and many examples, require additional National Instruments software, such as the LabVIEW Real-Time and FPGA Modules and the NI-RIO drivers. If you purchased the Robotics Starter Kit or Robotics Software Bundle, you have access to this software. If you purchased just the Robotics Module, select Start»All Programs»National Instruments»NI License Manager to launch the NI License Manager, which displays the software to which you have access.
You can install all of your LabVIEW products—including the Robotics Module—using the LabVIEW Platform DVDs. You can find installation instructions for the module along with activation instructions in the following locations:
Note If you purchased this product with an NI Software Suite or NI Product Bundle, such as the LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit or Software Bundle, use the installation media that shipped with your purchase to install this product.
To request additional LabVIEW Platform DVDs, refer to the National Instruments Web site (linked below).
You must purchase a Robotics Module Run-Time License for each target machine not produced by National Instruments onto which you want to install a custom Robotics Module application. Refer to the National Instruments Web site (linked below) for more information about Robotics run-time licensing. Contact a National Instruments sales representative or visit
Note Other products you use to develop robotics applications also might require run-time licenses. Refer to the documentation for those products for information about purchasing run-time licenses.
After you install the Robotics Module, select Start»All Programs»NI LabVIEW Robotics 2011 to launch the LabVIEW Robotics environment.
Refer to the Robotics Module book on the Contents tab of the LabVIEW Help for more information about the Robotics Module.
Select Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW to launch the NI Example Finder. LabVIEW examples for the Robotics Module are located in the
Some robotics examples require additional National Instruments software, such as the LabVIEW FPGA Module, Control Design and Simulation Module, or Vision Development Module. In the NI Example Finder, select an example and refer to the Information section for a list of software you must install to run the example.
Note (Windows 7/Vista) When you open an FPGA VI in some LabVIEW project-based examples, the VI appears to have unsaved changes because the default LabVIEW font on Windows 7 and Vista differs from the default font on Windows XP. LabVIEW prompts you to save these cosmetic changes to the VI, which requires you to recompile the FPGA VI. If the VI has no other changes, you can save and recompile the VI to avoid this unsaved state when you open the FPGA VI in the future.
The LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module introduces the following enhancements.
Simulating Mobile Robots
The LabVIEW Robotics Module provides a simulator and tools you can use to design and control a simulated environment with mobile robots. Use the Robotics Environment Simulator Wizard to design an environment and the robots you want to simulate. After you design the simulated components, write VIs to manipulate the components in the simulator. When you finish writing simulation VIs, run them to start the simulator and view the simulation. Finally, you can deploy the same VIs to a real hardware target after making a few changes to prepare the VIs for hardware.
Refer to the Robotics Module»Simulating Mobile Robots book on the Contents tab of the LabVIEW Help for more information about simulating mobile robots in LabVIEW.
Use the drivers on the Device I/O with Simulation palette to communicate with robotics sensors and actuators. These drivers are useful in robotics applications because you can use the same driver to communicate with both real and simulated sensors and actuators. Thus, you can create and simulate a robotics application that includes sensor and actuator drivers and then deploy the application to a real hardware target with minimal changes to your code.
To access these drivers, browse to the Robotics»Sensors and Actuators»Device I/O with Simulation palette. If you need to communicate only with real devices, you can use the drivers on another palette, the Device I/O palette.
Refer to the Robotics Module»Communicating with Sensors and Actuators book on the Contents tab of the LabVIEW Help for more information about using the Device I/O with Simulation drivers.
Controlling the Starter Kit Robot without Writing an FPGA VI
The Starter Kit palette contains VIs you can use to control real and simulated versions of the LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit robot. To access the Starter Kit VIs, browse to the Robotics»Starter Kit palette. Use the VIs on the subpalette that corresponds to your robot to interface with your robot similarly to how you use device drivers to interface with a sensor or actuator. For example, the Starter Kit palette contains VIs to initialize the robot, read from and write to the distance sensor and motor controllers on the robot, and then close the communication session.
Note You must install all software on the LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit DVD before you can use the Starter Kit VIs with a real Starter Kit robot.
The Starter Kit VIs allow you to interact with the FPGA on the robot without writing an FPGA VI. These VIs also can operate with real or simulated versions of the Starter Kit robot just by using the appropriate initialization VI.
Refer to the Robotics Module»LabVIEW Robotics Starter Kit book on the Contents tab of the LabVIEW Help for more information about working with the Robotics Starter Kit. Use the NI Example Finder, available by selecting Help»Find Examples from LabVIEW, to browse or search for examples of using the Starter Kit VIs to control real and simulated Starter Kit robots. You also can access the example VIs from the
Robotics Environment Settings
The Robotics Module defines its own LabVIEW environment settings that allow you to focus LabVIEW on robotics-related development. For example, the Robotics environment settings include access to wizards, customized palette views, and other resources. To change from one environment to another without restarting LabVIEW, select Tools»Choose Environment to display the Choose Environment Settings dialog box, which you can use to change environments.
New VIs and Nodes
The Robotics palette includes the following new VIs and nodes:
Refer to the Robotics Module»Robotics VIs book on the Contents tab of the LabVIEW Help for more information about these VIs.
The Device I/O palette includes the following new drivers:
The new Device I/O with Simulation palette includes the following drivers that communicate with both real and simulated sensors and actuators:
The LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module introduces the following behavior changes.
Upgrade and Compatibility Issues
Certain VIs are deprecated or moved in the Robotics Module 2011. If you open a VI developed with the Robotics Module 2010 or earlier that contains one of these VIs, the VI is broken. Remove the missing VI or call it from the correct location on disk.
The following VIs are deprecated or moved:
Palette and VI Changes
The Robotics Module 2011 includes the following changes to palettes and VIs:
Changes to Third-Party Add-on Offerings
In the Robotics Module 2010, the installation media you purchased contains the Cogmation Toolkit for LabVIEW and the TORC JAUS Toolkit for LabVIEW. In the Robotics Module 2011, you must obtain the toolkits separately. Refer to the LabVIEW Tools Network (linked below) for more information about the Cogmation Toolkit. Refer to the TORC Web site (linked below) for more information about the TORC JAUS Toolkit.
You can access the software and documentation known issues list online. Refer to the National Instruments Web site for an up-to-date list of known issues in the Robotics Module.
The following items are the IDs and titles of a subset of issues fixed in the LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module. This is not an exhaustive list of issues fixed in the current version of the Robotics Module. If you have a CAR ID, you can search this list to validate the issue has been fixed.
© 2011 National Instruments Corporation. All rights reserved.
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Request LabVIEW Platform DVDs
KnowledgeBase: LabVIEW Robotics Run-Time Licensing
Community: Skilligent VIs
LabVIEW Tools Network
TORC Web site: JAUS Toolkit
Developer Zone: LabVIEW 2011 Robotics Module Known Issues
Report Date: 06/06/2011
Last Updated: 07/29/2011
Document ID: 5M592KO7