Impression 5 hands on science center in Lansing, MI had an exhibit that needed an upgrade. The exhibit consisted of firing a tennis ball with compressed air, with the goal of shooting the ball into a bucket a fixed distance away. The patron could select the angle at which the tennis ball was fired, and the pressure of an air tank upon firing by using a hand pump. A PC monitored the angle of the tennis ball and the air pressure of a tank, and displayed these measurements on a computer screen along with the flight trajectory for the angle and pressure. Impression 5 wanted to upgrade the computer graphics and use off the shelf hardware to make maintenance easier.
We developed a custom LabVIEW based program to monitor the angle of the tennis ball and the air pressure of the tank upon firing. The graphics inherent to LabVIEW was a vast improvement over the graphics they previously had. We also used an off the shelf data acquisition card that made maintenance very simple. Automated Software Technology proudly donated the time and materials to make this exhibit a success.