Date: Sun Dec 21 15:44:05 2008

Author: Urs Lauterburg

Subject: Re: 2-d motion detector setup


Paul Nord wrote on December 16th 2008 to tap-l:

>And if you come from a small neutral European country where money is
>no object, you could buy LabView and do some really amazing things.
>It can even render frame-by-frame analysis and find the center of
>objects all by itself.

Well, I think Paul referred to myself here. First I would like to
clarify that it is not true that money is no object here in
Switzerland. Maybe some internationally active swiss bank
corporations did participate in the money making maze by worshipping
a so called free and unregulated global market game, but the average
citizen even here does generally not have much spare money to spend.
Even here a substantial percentage of the population suffers very
tight resources, barely enough to get by. However, there is a certain
culture of distributing wealth and the state would have all kind of
mechanisms to rechannel funds to those who are in need. The rich
don't really like it but overall it's still better than the results
of strong social tensions between the have-alls and the have-nots.

Second I actually use LabVIEW to save money. Our university was
clever enough to negotiate a large campus license for the National
Instruments data acquisition software years ago. Back then I strongly
supported this move and so did a large group of physics professors at
our institute. Professional data acquisition hardware from National
Instruments is extremely versatile and long lasting. If you use
LabVIEW consequently to drive these devices for your needs you have a
way to realize complex instrumentation that would cost much more if
you solve the same tasks with pieces of special dedicated self-made
hardware. Actually LabVIEW gave us the power to be much more
productive than we were in the old days when building special
hardware devices was the norm.

So for image acquisition I use an old version of the LabVIEW
IMAQ-Vision 4.1 for the Classic Macintosh OS even today. NI has
unfortunately discontinued their image acquisition software for the
Mac when porting the software which was initially developed on the
Apple platform only to the MS OSes. Fortunately that whole package
was so powerful then, that it can still program and use it today also
for motion tracking and analysis tasks.

But there are alternatives. One is the V-Scope device which can be
used for motion tracking in 3D see:

Above is my 0.001 Swiss franc worth of a comment about 2D motion tracking gear.



Urs Lauterburg
Physics demonstrator
Physikalisches Institut
University of Bern

PS: Yeah, the semester is finally over now !