For ME 121 (MechE Lab 2) we have a LabVIEW homework due this upcoming Sunday night. The basic idea is that in teams of two we are to create a slot machine that never loses. The player inputs the number of times they want to play along with a few other parameters. Then the player presses a button to spin the machine. The machine produces a set of three random numbers and will continually cycle through them until all three are equal to each other and the player “wins.” Our program has to count the number of times it takes to get three-of-a-kind, while simultaneously flashing lights indicating which numbers match. After it did all that it also had to export the winning number data to a spreadsheet file.
While it seems like a relatively straightforward task, it is actually pretty difficult for myself and the other teams I’ve talked to. It seems like most of us have little experience with LabVIEW, so when it comes to building arrays, reading from/writing to files, etc. most of us are pretty lost since we’ve never done it before using this type of program. My partner and I spent a lot of time on google and help forums trying to figure out how to use certain functions. It’s been frustrating since there isn’t really a TA for the class that holds office hours. We’ve gotten help from Prof. Angstadt several times though and are almost done with the program. The last thing we have to do is figure out how to read the input from a spreadsheet file and also have our slot machine play a sound file when the player “wins.” Now that we are almost finished its pretty satisfying to see it work. In the future I hope we are forced to use LabVIEW more because it seems like a really useful skill to have.