UHF RFID Antenna Systems Customized for Robotic Applications

RFID technology is becoming popular also in robotics. Indeed, if passive tags are used as landmarks and the robot is equipped with a reader, RFID does naturally become a considerable and cost-effective support for mobile robot navigation and localization.

At the state of the art, RFID-assisted navigation tests are performed by using commercial robots equipped with several sensors and an RFID reader connected to two commercial antennas. When the robot is close enough to a tag marking a zone, the acquired additional information is compared with the so-called sensor model, which associates the probability of detecting a tag with the mutual position between that tag and reader antennas, thus contributing to the robot localization and navigation.

Regarding the RFID reader antennas, linear polarization would be reasonable, as tags can be fixed permanently on a wall with the same orientation. As for the tag antennas, as already stated, the most important requirement is the platform-robustness, so as to assure almost constant performance regardless the supporting material. This will enable the use of only one valid sensor model.

Concluding, in this work, based on the use of ad-hoc RFID hardware specifically tailored for the addressed application, a new approach to improve RFID-based robotic application is proposed. Firstly, a set of guidelines for the realization of specific RFID hardware has been individuated and, accordingly, a compact and lightweight linearly polarized reader antenna and a new platform-robust tag have been realized and tested in a practical robotic application, with the aim of estimating the tag position.

Tags : Long Distance RFID Reader UHF RFID Antenna Long Range RFID Antenna

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