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Electronic Devices

Low-cost Multi-Reader RFID Technology

Expandable multi-channel RFID Reader System - intellitronic RFID - based on PSoC Computer

brandiware | Süddeutschland
Start: Summer, 2015 | Status: completed

The intellitronic RFID system is designed to handle multi-channel RFID Technology identification tasks such as animal identification or part identification in production lines. It consists of RFID Readers connected to microcomputer-controlled RFID Managers.

Each RFID Reader can handle a variety of RFID transponder types and reads even very small transponders up to a 5cm distance.

The readers are governed by a PSoC based RFID Manager. Each RFID Manager supports up to 5 Readers simultaneously. The intellitronic RFID System:intellitronic RFID

The RFID Readers can be set to handle the following transponders:

  • EM4100 read only compatible
  • Atmel T55xx series of Read/Write
  • Read/Write FDX-B and HDX Protocol as defined in ISO11784/11785 for animal identification.
  • TIRIS 64 bit and Multi-page transponders: RI-TRP-R… 64 bit Read Only RI-TRP-W… 80 bit Read/Write RI-TRP-D… 1360 bit Multi-page 17 pages Read/Write
  • EM4205 / EM4305 Read/Write
  • Biphase Encoding 32 cyc/bit.

A simple, inexpensive antenna for 134kHz transponders is available. This antenna is designed for better directivity of the electromagnetic field through the use of a ferrite core. This feature is paramount in environments where many readers work in close proximity (Dense RFID Reader Environments).

The RFID Manager is powered either via a line input or through its rechargeable batteries. It is equipped with a 4x40 character LCD and provides plenty of non-volatile memory to store readings while unplugged. Based on a state-of-the-art PSoC computer, it allows all kinds of custom functionality and features. The RFID Manager contains an internal interface to update the firmware as well as a standard USB-B port to connect it with a PC.

When connected to the USB port of a PC, simple commands can be used to communicate with the RFID Manager i.e., to read the RFID data collected.

The intellitronic RFID Manager can be configured to handle virtually any third party RFID reader.

The RFID Readers are connected to the RFID Manager through simple serial cables. They are also powered via the same cable.

To achieve a n-channel RFID Reader setup, the RFID Managers sport a CAN-bus (controller area network) interface. Cabling is via inexpensive stereo audio cables. Using this interface, an unlimited number of RFID Managers can be connected. Thus, with one RFID Manager in the lead, an unlimited number of RFID Readers can be monitored simultaneously. The system will track all transponder reads and assign the data to the corresponding reader channel.

The system introduced here is currently being customized for a renowned German Ornithologistbased in Kronberg, Germany. The specific application for this customer tracks Swift (Apus-apus) birds nesting. When the birds return for the breeding season, they will be tracked by the multi-channel RFID Reader System. A first prototype of this intellitronic RFID application was tracking numerous nests in the breeding season of the year 2016.

A full version of the system is was installed in Kronberg during the breeding season of 2017 and 2018. The experience gathered is now incorporated in the next release of the system.

A joint project with a renowned academic institution, specializing in ornithology, is underway. This project will utilize the power of the PSoC computer further. It is envisioned to include monitoring of digital scales as well as video surveillance.

The intellitronic RFID system can be customized for a variety of identification tasks, far beyond animal tagging. Due to the low-cost implementation and the possibility to track an unlimited number of RFID antennae simultaneously, it would greatly enhance effectiveness of production processes where identification of parts and products plays a key role. We also developed a custom desktop application based on MS Access to track the transponders read by the system described above. For different identification tasks we can implement and integrate applications based on customers demands.
The price for an implementation depends on the specific requirements of a given task. In order to justify the low-cost goal of this product a price of below 50€ per Reader Channel is envisioned.
Please direct any inquiries on the intellitronic RFID system to brandiware.