BlueBot: Asset Tracking via Robotic Location Crawling

Asset tracking – knowing what you have and where it is located – is essential for the smooth operation of many enterprises. From manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of consumer goods, to government departments, enterprises of all kinds are gearing up to use RFID technology to increase the visibility of goods and assets within their supply chain and on their premises. However, RFID technology alone lacks the capability to track the location of items once they are moved within a facility. This paper presents a prototype automatic location sensing system that combines RFID technology and off-the-shelf Wi-Fi based continuous positioning technology for asset tracking in indoor environments. The system employs a robot, with an attached RFID reader, which periodically crawls the space, associating items it detects with its own location determined with the Wi-Fi positioning system. We propose three algorithms that combine the detected tag’s reading with previous samples to compute its location. Our experiments have shown that our positioning algorithms can bring a two to three fold improvement on the raw accuracy provided by the positioning technology.

By: Abhishek Patil; Jonathan Munson; David Wood; Alan Cole

Published in: RC23510 in 2005


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