A Twitter API developed by the National Instruments Community is being used by
engineers in Japan to cope with rolling power outages resulting from the
aftermath of the recent tsunami.
With unscheduled blackouts lasting
several hours, engineers have often been unable to run continuous tests and
retain experiment consistency without the fear of running out of power.
Naoki Hoshino, a test engineer at
Peritec in Japan, built the original application using LabVIEW and a National
Instruments (NI) USB data acquisition (DAQ) device to monitor battery levels
and display the voltages of his backup power source.
He then used a Twitter API and code he
found on the NI Community to measure and post the results through Twitter to
share the information with his coworkers. By sharing the data, Hoshino is
helping the team better anticipate when backup batteries should be replaced to
avoid test interruptions.
In one tweet, Hoshino explained the electricity
would go out for three hours a day in his area of Japan, so they wanted to be
ready for the rolling blackouts. He has continued to tweet
that his app continues to solve the issue of
monitoring the backup battery power through the outages, so he plans to
continue using it to keep those in need updated.
to watch a video
of the application in action.