A CAT Scan for Cats! LOLZ!!

November 10, 2009

At NIWeek in August, we were able to showcase a bunch of customers and their applications. Animage was one of those companies. Animage…like, animal? Yes. You are correct. Animals! We already know that I love animals, so I am really excited to share this with you.

Ok so here is the technical description of what Animage is doing:

The Challenge:
Quickly developing and deploying an embedded, multimodality diagnostic imaging system for small animal veterinary practices.

The Solution:
Using NI LabVIEW and CompactRIO to rapidly create a functional prototype to demonstrate feasibility, and then quickly migrating 100 percent of the prototype software code to NI Single-Board RIO to create a final solution for deployment.

Here is my version: They made a CT Scan for Cats. For times like this:

Aren’t you glad I write this blog? Yeah, I wouldn’t have known what that description meant either. Good thing I work with Emilie. She knows how to deconstruct the technical jargon, and I know how to…well…talk about underwear and Oprah. Don’t worry, the company already knows they’re getting a little more bang for their buck with Em than with me.

So, let’s get serious. Back to the cats. If only I would tell you how many of my conversations start like that every day.

With LabVIEW and NI Single-Board RIO, Animage avoided having to develop most of the system from scratch, which shortened time to market and saved an estimated three man-years of development time, or about $300,000 in labor costs. And now, your animal (cat or anything else that ends up at the vet’s office) can get an X-Ray, CT scan, or motion-capture X-ray video when if it gets hurt. You can read more about it here.

When one of our dogs was a puppy, he hurt his paw and had to have a really pathetic little cast.


Don’t worry, we took good care of him and he has grown up to be a healthy dog.


But, maybe he could have benefited from Animage’s invention.


Oh, you thought I was going to talk to you about using an Apple computer? You should know from my posts about braselephants, and cheesecake that I don’t actually know a lot about computers or technology.




This is actually about macaroni.




Do you secretly have a stash of Kraft Mac & Cheese in your pantry for those days when you drop a glass jar of sticky jam on the tile kitchen floor while making your lunch, get to work and then notice the toothepaste spot smack-dab in the middle of your black shirt, spill coffee on your handouts for the presentation you are giving in 30 seconds, get hungry and remember that you left the PB&J which caused you so much heartache on the kitchen counter, and then finally call it a day and get home only to realize the entire house is, infact, out of toilet paper? Let’s just say, I used one of my boxes yesterday.




There is something about Kraft Mac & Cheese. I am all about saving $$$ at the grocery store, but I will pay the extra $.20 for Kraft. You boil the noodles, drain, and stir in a few ingredients from your fridge and it’s like all the parts of your bad day melt away with that large chunk of butter and some down time

Now, “down time” with yourself is great, but down time with personal technology is never good. Like when your computer blue-screens, or that little Windows hourglass won’t go away, or you (I) drop your (my) cell phone in the toilet and it needs a lot of “down time” to rest, and, er, dry out…never good. Well, down-time in production machinery is even worse. I imagine the opportunity cost of a production facility losing an hour to technical malfunctions is much, much greater than the opportunity cost of me losing 5 minutes to restart my computer.

Kraft Foods used LabVIEW and PXI to maximize production by decreasing down time and increasing packaging efficiencies for their Easy Mac packaging lines. LabVIEW was used for rapid development of the real-time detection and analysis platform and PXI embedded controllers offered standards-based hardware that supported deployment in ruggedized manufacturing environments.

We already went over how I am not too technical, and this project seems like it was pretty technical…so I am just going to let you read about the application on your own here.