Trolley Scan(Pty) Ltd
Trolley Scan (South Africa) delivers first commercialised RFID-radar system|
JOHANNESBURG,SOUTH AFRICA 15 MARCH 2006
Said Mike Marsh, Managing Director of Trolley Scan -"The delivery of the first RFID-radar system to our client in Europe, marks the end of a hectic six months of development. Just six months ago we stumbled by chance on a method of measuring the distance, with great accuracy and over long distances, that a signal travelled from a transponder back to a reader. We have had to build concept proving equipment, conduct extensive field tests and design the first version of the commercial equipment. The testing included 14000 range measurements to verify consistency and accuracy. The system contains four parallel computers to perform the massive numerical calculations for which we had to write and debug thousands of lines of code. In addition we had to write handbooks for the operators. This delivery marks a milestone in the development of this exciting technology.
"The breakthrough with RFID-radar is the ability to measure the distance travelled by a signal from a transponder to a reader accurately, using minimal radio spectrum to reduce effects on other users, and with very low cost transponders and readers. This invention allows us to develop a new generation of RFID reader, a reader that can identify and locate exactly many transponders in a very large reading zone."
Said Marsh- "The new technology will result in the development of an entire new set of applications for computer based equipment. Applications could include the location of goods in a warehouse; tracking of individual animals in a herd; the monitoring of the movement of assets in a building; the location of parcels and airline luggage in a warehouse; the monitoring of children in a creche; or the monitoring of security zones to ensure sensitive areas are avoided. As all measurements are performed from one set of antennas, the equipment can even be mounted on a forklift truck to locate goods in a warehouse relative to the current position of the vehicle."
The commercialisation will promote the development of longer range RFID systems, using lower power passive transponder technology. The delivered system operates in the EU RFID band at 869.5MHz with very low power. Due to the wideband nature of the transponders, and the flexibility of the reader, the system can be set to operate at any of the UHF frequencies in the 860-960 MHz bands, making it suitable for use in all countries. Currently operating ranges of 40 meters are practical, but it is expected to extend this to 100 meters in the near future.
In the future there will be RFID readers that just give identity information, and there will be RFID-radar type readers that give identity, location and tracking information.
About Trolley Scan (Pty) Ltd
Trolley Scan have proven to be a major creative force in the development of UHF RFID technologies.
The staff of Trolley Scan, which was founded in 1995, have a pedigree that goes back to 1990 when the first low cost RFID protocol was developed by the founder while working for a South African government research organisation, culminating in 1994 in the demonstration of a supermarket trolley containing 38 items being scanned automatically in a supermarket in Pretoria. In 1998, the founders of Trolley Scan developed an entirely new set of protocols for UHF RFID which they have been actively promoting. They also have addressed the situation of the 3 dimensional scanning of goods, and have developed a very low power RFID version which they commercialise under the EcoTag trademark.
In August 2005 Trolley Scan invented RFID-radar. Trolley Scan are based in Johannesburg South Africa.
Trolley Scan licence their patents and technology to companies around the world who wish to produce this technology. Trolley Scan have sold RFID systems to users in 45 countries.
Complete systems can be ordered via their website.
About UHF RFID
Potential use of these systems is extensive, from herd animal tracking, library books, pallets, warehousing, bank and postal bags, asset tracking, airline luggage, vehicle monitoring (access and parking), to intelligent buildings (tracking files, documents and assets moving around an office to minimise finding time).
The ultimate goal is to use these transponders with their inbuilt anti-shoplifting features to replace the barcodes labelling goods in a retail store allowing filled supermarket trolleys to be scanned in seconds in unmanned self-service checkout aisles.
The addition of position information encourages the development of much further scanning range from single readers and lower power transponders, as now the identity and exact location can be determined.
Trolleyponder and EcoTag are registered
trademarks of Trolley Scan (Pty) Ltd