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INDOOR SELF-LOCALIZATION OF RFID ROBOTS

Autonomous robotsLocalizationLocalizzazioneRFIDRobotRobot autonomitracking

Introduction

AURORA (Self-Localization of RFID Robots in an Indoor Environement)), is a low-cost, reliable and scalable system that allows robots or other mobile devices to self-locate in an indoor scenario using passive UHF-RFID tags placed at known positions. The main applications concern warehouse management and retails, elder assistance and autonomous vehicles in various scenarios.

Technical features

The RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) technology in UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) band was born for item identification but it has recently been used for localization purposes. By equipping a robot with kinematic sensors, and an RFID reader connected to at least one antenna, it is possible to develop a tracking system using passive RFID tags, now detectable to distances up to 10 m. The robot, created nowaday as a lab prototype, estimates its real time position in the scenario, by using an algorithm that merges data of kinematic sensors and RFID system, allowing to achieve performance comparable to state-of-the-art systems (e.g. laser or sonar). The reference tags are installed at arbitrary positions in the scenario and with low density. The system works with commercial hardware and it can be integrated into robots or mobile devices already equipped with RFID technology for inventory purposes.

Possible Applications

  • Logistics, warehouses and retails;
  • Assisting people with disabilities (Ambient Assisted Living);
  • Healthcare and hospitals (point-of-care);
  • Shop assistant;
  • Autonomous robots;
  • Collaborative Robotics;
  • Industry 4.0;
  • Industrial Internet of Things.

Advantages

  • Standardized and economical technology;
  • Suitable for dynamic environments (stores and warehouses) due to the robustness of the electromagnetic signal in the UHF band;
  • High scalability;
  • No batteries required;
  • Simple to install and manage;
  • Increased privacy compared to camera-based systems.