Automated and Mobile Identification and Localization Approach with a Combination of Passive Radio Frequency Identification Devices and Range-Free Algorithms

Research output: Patent


Whether for construction, hospitals, defense operations, manufacturing, or distribution, the identification and location of inventory and equipment is essential to effective supply chain and project management. Radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking significantly reduces the time and cost of day-to-day operations by allowing workers to instantaneously locate whatever materials they need. RFID systems can also keep record of the prior locations, the times the material was moved, and even identify the employees involved. However, current systems use active RFID tags, which are expensive, inaccurate, and require that the area be scanned by a mobile roving unit. Ultra-wide band systems are an alternative to active RFID, but they require a dense network of expensive stationary receivers, perform poorly in adverse weather, and are typically limited to controlled building environments. Researchers at ASU have developed an automated identification and localization system using passive RFID tags and short-range GPS. This system is designed such that material-handling equipment (cranes, forklifts, etc.) are furnished with both GPS and passive RFID receivers. The RFID receiver identifies passive tags attached to nearby inventory, and transmits the data to a GPS receiver that triangulates the location of the tagged inventory based on signal strength. This eliminates the need for a mobile roving unit and can precisely track inventory movement in real time. Passive RFID tags are also relatively inexpensive, and unlike active tags, they do not require batteries. Therefore, this system provides enhanced inventory tracking that is more economical, reliable, and accurate. Potential Applications Civil Engineering Defense Operations Heavy Construction Hospital Equipment Tracking Logistics Supply Chain Management Warehousing/Distribution Benefits and Advantages Accurate More precise localization. Can track inventory in real time. Economical Passive RFID tags cost considerably less than active tags. Reliable Does not rely on batteries. Works in all weather conditions and environments. Download Original PDF For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see Dr. David Grau's directory webpage
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Dec 17 2013


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