Identify Robot Using RFID

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Autonomous Search & Identify Robot Using RFID

Summary

This mid project report serves as an introduction to my final year project covering the background and objectives of my project, what work I have done in preparation for completing my final year project and an explanation into why I have chosen this particular project. The report will explain my proposed approach to creating a working prototype, including a workable strategy and a Gantt chart detailing how I will spend my time.

This report includes research I have completed prior to completing my final year project, such as RFID, Artificial Intelligence, the robot platform I will be using and details of how I plan to use PHP and MySQL within this project.

Introduction

The objective of this project is to create a working robot prototype to investigate the use of using RFID within clothing to allow a robot to search for and identify items of clothing with RFID tags placed inside thus allowing easy collection and cataloguing of the clothing using a robot solution.

My educational interests lie within robotics so I have chosen to do a robotics solution to a domestic problem combining my previous knowledge gained from studying at Bradford University and incorporating a technology that I have an interest in and has a large potential in a domestic environment RFID.

Project Idea

During my time at Bradford University I have had the opportunity as part of my course to study Robotics and an assortment of programming languages; due to this background I came to the conclusion that doing a Robot for my final year project would not only combine the knowledge I have gained throughout my degree but provide a project that I will find interesting and educational, this combined with my interest in RFID has lead to the idea of creating a robot that can search and Identify objects using RFID.

The initial Idea for the project creating a Robot using RFID came from my year out while I was on placement I had a lot more free time on my hands to do leisure activities than I did when at university, this combined with a steady cash flow meant I was a lot more active and rarely in the house, from this new outgoing lifestyle I became a little messy throwing clothes on the floor and loosing items that I did put in the washing basket this lead to me frequently having to search for items of clothing that I had mislaid and generally wishing my room was tidier. One day I was watching a programme called The Big bang Theory (2007). One of the main characters was using RFID in his clothing and cataloguing the items on his laptop. From seeing the main character do this I came up with the idea of a robot that is able to detect items of clothing left on the floor with RFID tags inside the clothing remove the item to a set location and also update the computer with what the item is so that the user knows what clothing is clean and available to wear and what is dirty.

Research
RFID

RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification, RFID is an automated data-capture technology which can be used to electronically identify, track, and store information about groups of products, individual items, or product components (DoC, 2005, Korteweg, 2007 p.8 ). RFID uses short-range radio technologies to communicate digital information associated with items through the use of tags or transponders attached to the items in essence RFID tags are small, portable digital radios. RFID was developed almost 60 years ago but its implementation has awaited a host of other technical developments such as low power CMOS and the personal computer, as well as advances in radio technology (Landt, 2006).

A typical RFID system consists of four main component types: tags, reader, antenna and a host such as a computer system.

This is how RFID works, step by step:

A processor controls the RFID sender / receiver controller;
An antenna sends high frequent energy with optional encoded information to the transponder.
In the transponder, the high frequent energy is being converted to an electrical charge, which is saved;
This makes the transponder answer with its own, unique encoded information;
The reader unit receives the transponder's answer; this information can be processed depending on the application.

RFID - Tags

The RFID tag plays an important role in providing information about an item or product, there are two main types of RFID tag Active tag and Passive tag this research details the specifications of each type and a description of why one tag will be chosen over the other.

Active

An Active RFID tag is an RFID tag that incorporates a battery and are fully powered transmitters they do not have to be activated by an antenna reader, (Science Prog, 2007) Active tags can communicate with a reader over a distance of several tens of meters; there are tags that can communicate at several hundreds of meters.

Passive

Passive RFID tags have no power source and no transmitter.A passive RFIDtransponderconsists of a microchip attached to anantenna. The transponder can be packaged in many different ways. It can be mounted on asubstrateto create atag, or sandwiched between an adhesive layer and a paper label to create a printable RFID label, orsmart label. Transponders can also be embedded in a plastic card, a key fob, the walls of a plastic container, and special packaging to resist heat, cold or harsh cleaning chemicals. Thefactor used depends on the application (RFID Journal, Unknown).

Comparison of RFID tags

Active RFID

Passive RFID

Communication Range

Long range

(100m or more)

Short or very short range

(3m or less)

Tag Power source

Internal to tag

Energy Transferred From Reader via RF

Availability of Tag Power

Continuous

Only within field of reader

Required Signal

Strength from Reader

to Tag

low

High (Must Power Tag)

Available Signal

Strength from Tag to

Reader

High

Low

Sensor Capability

Ability to continuously

monitor and record

sensor input; data/time

stamp for sensor events

Ability to read and

transfer sensor values

only when tag is powered

by reader; no date/time

stamp

Data Storage

Large read/write data

storage (128KB) with

sophisticated data search

and access capabilities

available

Small read/write data

storage (e.g. 128 bytes)

Smallest tag size

Approx 4cm * 5cm

Approx 2mm * 2mm

Table 1 - Technical differences between Active and Passive RFID Technologies

Source:

Compiled from www.autoid.org

How I Plan to use it

From research completed it seems that the best type of RFID tag to use to complete the project will be a Passive RFID tag, the reasons behind this is due to the scope of the project there is no need to power the tags, as the distance that the robot will need to travel to identify the tags will be minimal, also the size of a passive tag is far smaller than an active tag and is a more viable option for mass production and implementation into items of clothing. Due to the minimal components needed to manufacture passive tags they will also be much cheaper to reproduce than active tags.

AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be defined as the branch of computer science that is concerned with the automation of intelligent behaviour. This Definition of AI is particularly appropriate for this project as the specification for the final year project is to create an autonomous robot that is able to search for and identify items without any human interaction thus creating a form of intelligent behiviour.

The next steps taken will be to determine what type of AI strategy will be suitable to complete the task at hand.

Murphy (2000, p5) states that there are currently three paradigms for organising intelligence in robots, hierarchical, reactive and hybrid deliberative/reactive A Paradigm is a philosophy or set of assumptions and/or techniques which characterize an approach to a class of problems.

Source: www.codatex.com

PHP/MySQL
Review
Proposed approach
Progress
Progress reflection

List of Abbreviations

AI - Artificial Intelligence

CMOS - Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor

DOC - Department of Commerce

RFID - Radio Frequency Identification

References

Ananiah Electronics. (Unknown).RF8315T-s Active RFID 8 Meters Transmitting Module.Available: http://www.ananiahelectronics.com/RF8315T-x.htm. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Application for Automatic Identification and Mobility. (Unknown).Spotlight on: RFID Technology.Available: http://www.aimglobal.org/technologies/rfid/what_is_rfid.asp. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Autoid. (2002).Part 1: Active and Passive RFID: Two Distinct, But Complementary, Technologies for Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility.Available: http://www.autoid.org/2002_Documents/sc31_wg4/docs_501-520/520_18000-7_WhitePaper.pdf. Last accessed 23 November 2009.p2-3.

Bhatt, H and Glover, B (2006).RFID Essentials. USA: O'Reilly Media, Inc. p1 - 50.

Codatex. (2009).RFID Products.Available: http://www.codatex.com/shop/. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Department of Commerce (2005), Radio Frequency Identification; Opportunities and implications in implementation, Washington D.C.

Korteweg, B. (2007)."Crossing the Chasm" Exploring RFID adoption characteristics in South African industries [Online].Available: http://essay.utwente.nl/567/1/scriptie_Korteweg.pdf. University of Twente, Last accessed 22 November 2009. p8

Landt, J. (2006).RFID - Still Crossing the Chasm? Available: http://www.transcore.com/pdf/PortableDesign_3pgs.pdf. Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Murphy, R Robin (2000).Introduction to AI Robotics. USA: The MIT Press. p1 - 50.

RFID Journal. (Unknown).The Basics of RFID Technology. Available: http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/1337/1/129/. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Rotil Communications BV. (2009).How Does RFID Work? [Online Image]. Available: http://www.rotil.nl/communications/products/rfid.en.php. Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Science Prog. (2007).How does RFID Technology Work. Available: http://www.scienceprog.com/how-does-rfid-tag-technology-works/. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Siegwart, R & Nourbakhsh, R I (2004).Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots. USA: The MIT Press. p1 - 50.

The Big Bang Theory Fan Site. (2007).The Big Bang Theory.[Online] Available: http://the-big-bang-theory.com/. Last accessed 16 November 2009.

Bibliography

Ananiah Electronics. (Unknown).RF8315T-s Active RFID 8 Meters Transmitting Module.Available: http://www.ananiahelectronics.com/RF8315T-x.htm. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Application for Automatic Identification and Mobility. (Unknown).Spotlight on: RFID Technology.Available: http://www.aimglobal.org/technologies/rfid/what_is_rfid.asp. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Autoid. (2002).Part 1: Active and Passive RFID: Two Distinct, But Complementary, Technologies for Real-Time Supply Chain Visibility.Available: http://www.autoid.org/2002_Documents/sc31_wg4/docs_501-520/520_18000-7_WhitePaper.pdf. Last accessed 23 November 2009

Bhatt, H & Glover B (2006).RFID Essentials. USA: O'Reilly Media, Inc. p1 - 50.

Codatex. (2009).RFID Products.Available: http://www.codatex.com/shop/. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Department of Commerce (2005), Radio Frequency Identification; Opportunities and implications in implementation, Washington D.C.

Korteweg, B. (2007)."Crossing the Chasm" Exploring RFID adoption characteristics in South African industries [Online].Available: http://essay.utwente.nl/567/1/scriptie_Korteweg.pdf. University of Twente, Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Landt, J. (2006).RFID - Still Crossing the Chasm? [Online] .Available: http://www.transcore.com/pdf/PortableDesign_3pgs.pdf. Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Murphy, R Robin (2000).Introduction to AI Robotics. USA: The MIT Press.

Rotil Communications BV. (2009).How Does RFID Work? [Online Image]. Available: http://www.rotil.nl/communications/products/rfid.en.php. Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Science Prog. (2007).How does RFID Technology Work. Available: http://www.scienceprog.com/how-does-rfid-tag-technology-works/. Last accessed 23 November 2009.

Siegwart, R & Nourbakhsh, R I (2004).Introduction to Autonomous Mobile Robots. USA: The MIT Press.

The Big Bang Theory Fan Site. (2009).The Big Bang Theory.[Online] Available: http://the-big-bang-theory.com/. Last accessed 16 November 2009.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-United States of America. (2005).RFID The State of Radio Frequency Identification.[Online]Available: http://www.iriscompany.com/articles/IEEEUSA_RFID_ebook.pdf. Last accessed 22 November 2009.

Appendix

So far on the project I have sourced all the necessary parts to complete my investigation I also have began the research into how to complete the technical aspect of this project. This will be covered in the research section of this mid project report.

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