The Rensselaer IOBoard
™ is a small, inexpensive hardware
platform for use in a classroom environment. Coupled with the
Mobile Studio Desktop
™ software, the system duplicates a large amount of
the hardware often used to teach Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Control
Systems, and Physics, among others.
The hardware component of the system is a small printed circuit board, populated
with all the components required to implement an oscilloscope, function generator,
spectrum analyzer, volt meter, and digital input/output. The hardware connects to
a PC via USB, and is powered by the user's PC, eliminating the need for a bulky
AC transformer. The hardware costs about as much as an average textbook.
On the PC, the included Mobile Studio Desktop™ software provides the user with "benchtop
equivalent" displays that mimic their physical counterparts. This allows students
to learn how to use the instruments, and have the knowledge gained be applicable
to their future careers. In addition to providing standard instrumentation options,
the software takes advantage of the immense processing power of the modern PC, giving
the user access to features usually only found on high-end equipment, and the ability
to easily save data and plots.
The Rensselaer IOBoard™ is easily expandable by way of several daughterboard connectors.
Nearly all the resources of the board can be accessed by a daughterboard, allowing
a daughterboard to enhance current features or add completely new features. For
advanced daughterboards, inter-processor communication is available between the
IOBoard and a daughterboard.
The Mobile Studio Desktop™ software is also easily expandable by way of a "Plugin"
system. The software automatically finds and loads both new hardware drivers and
new features that can be installed at any time after the main application. This
ensures that both your hardware and software are never out of date.
For those looking to use the Rensselaer IOBoard™ in a control environment, the hardware
also communicates with National Instruments' LabVIEW 8.
The Rensselaer Mobile Studio was featured on the cover of the September 24th, 2007 issue of EETimes
. The full text of the article can be viewed here
Rensselaer Schools of Engineering News