Thereís often a big buildup before lottery drawings. Thatís particularly true
in the National Instruments booth at National Manufacturing Week, where lottery
payoffs come with surprising frequency.
Visitors get a real behind-the scenes peek at the lottery system, since the
buildup of the lottery machine that dominates NIís booth occurs in public
demonstrations of the LabView tools used to create a Pick Three lottery machine.
During ongoing presentations, NI engineers demonstrate the steps taken to build
a lottery machine, ranging from controlling the motors that move the ball
carrier to the vision system that displays and determines the numbers of the
three balls that are selected.
Presenters go through the steps needed to build a lottery system, turning on
the motor that rotates the tumbler, then opening slots so balls fall through.
Finally, a vision system gives attendees a readable look at the balls which
determine whether theyíll leave the booth with prizes such as a memory stick or
even a PDA loaded with NIís LabView software.
The system on display was
built using LabView, demonstrating the techniques that let real-world operators
go from initial design through manufacturing setup with the same tool. This
eliminates mistakes and eliminates the training time engineers often need to
learn design and manufacturing software.
Elsewhere in the booth, visitors can see an educational tool called Elvis, as
well as a demonstration of ways that design engineers can check the performance
of prototypes and simulation software, making sure that the two work together to
provide accurate predictions about the performance of real world products.
NIís lottery system is fully automated,
but people still run the