National Instruments Announces New Controls, Extended Partnership with FIRST

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National Instruments has long been affiliated with the FIRST competition, their LabVIEW software is currently provided to all FRC teams. It’s a good learning experience for FIRST participants because the LabVIEW software is exactly the same as that which is used in many real-world applications.

Today, National Instruments announces another real-world tool they are putting in students’ hands, a next-gen control platform, code named “Athena”. Athena is a rugged, reconfigurable controller that can be paired with LabVIEW software, making it possible for FIRST teams to design systems faster than ever. There are no images of the controller yet, but Athena and its technical details will be unveiled at NI Week in Austin on August 8, this year.

“Support from partners like National Instruments is helping FIRST provide hands-on learning experiences that mirror what students will do in their future careers,” said Steve Chism, vice president of programs at FIRST. “We’re creating a generation of scientists and engineers ready to confidently take on the challenges facing our world.”

Athena will be available to students competing in the FRC division of the FIRST robotics competition, beginning in 2015.

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