January started with a bang. Three weeks of travel, which meant a lot of time sitting on planes and waiting for them. The nice thing about this is that it gives me time to let my brain wander a bit and often times come upon new and interesting ideas that I can apply at AWR. This blog isn’t about that per se, but rather the Shock and Ah! I experienced as I was catching up on my reading with a couple of interesting articles during my travel time. On my iPad Flipboard app, I stumbled across an article in IEEE Spectrum about the next generation of Lego MindStorms, MindStorm EV3, which was unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Lego Mindstorms is a collection combining Lego’s classic building blocks with programmable microcomputers that bring Lego creations to life. It talks about how this new toy, which has an EV3 intelligent brick, lets the builder program the robots without using a computer and that it is making robotics fun and fascinating for all ages. What attracted me to it outside of my own love for Legos is that National Instruments, AWR’s parent company, is a key technology provider of this product—the intuitive software platform for EV3 is based on NI’s LabVIEW graphical programming software. LabVIEW is the same software that powers some of the greatest innovations in the world and is already plug-n-play within the AWR Design Environment™ to provide a seamless RF/microwave design and test flow. How’s that for a bit ofShock and Ah!…that’s cool.